Girl's nail-biting habit gives her cancer, thumb amputated


Girls nail-biting habit gives her cancer, thumb amputated

She took to the habit of nail-biting out of nervousness.

By Web Report

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Published: Tue 18 Jun 2019, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Jun 2019, 4:32 PM

A 20-year-old student from UK had her thumb amputated after developing a rare form of skin cancer caused by biting her nails. 
Courtney Whithorn was a victim of bullying at school and took to the habit of nail biting out of nervousness. In 2014, she bit her thumb nail clean off which later turned cancerous, reported 
She kept her thumb hidden from friends and family for four years but 'freaked out' when it started to turn black. She decided to undergo plastic surgery where she discovered she had acral lentiginous subungual melanoma. 
Originally from Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham, Whithorn moved to The Gold Coast, Australia, nine years ago. "When I found out that biting my nail off was the cause of the cancer it shattered me. I bit the nail off four years ago and I was obviously very self-conscious of how black it was. My hand was just constantly in a fist because I didn't want anyone to see it - not even my parents," she said.
Whithorn confessed she always had fake nails because her thumb was so black. "Before my plastic surgery to remove the nail bed, the doctors could tell something was wrong and decided to do a biopsy. I was told that it was a malignant melanoma which was very rare to have there, especially for someone my age and at that size. I was obviously very shocked I couldn't believe it at all. My mum just burst into tears," Whithorn said.
Later, specialists in Sydney informed that the protocol for her form of melanoma is amputation. 
Since being diagnosed, Whithorn has undergone four surgeries with the last one happening last week. Part-time receptionist Whithorn, who is still recovering from her amputation, said she 'cries every time it's brought up'. 

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