An open wound was the gateway for HPV and later gave rise to cancer
– 2:07 p.m.
(updated at 3:09 p.m.)
We WE, a 50-year-old woman was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection after suffering an accident during her manicure. On occasion, the professional has accidentally made a deep cut in the client’s cuticle, which did not heal properly and served as an entry point for the virus. Months after the accident, the lesion turned into skin cancer – stage 1 squamous cell carcinoma.
Today, California patient Grace Garcia is doing well and has already undergone successful surgery to remove the cancer from her finger. As the diagnosis was early, she did not need to undergo radiotherapy.
Understand how a manicure injury led to the formation of cancer
To understand the origin of the American’s skin cancer, it should be mentioned that in November 2021, the patient went to a manicure and suffered an injury to the base of the cuticle. Because of this, she saw a few doctors, but the wound didn’t seem to be healing properly. Then a kind of black wart formed on the site of the injury.
In April 2021, the patient came to see dermatologist Teo Soleymani, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who requested a biopsy of the “wart”. According to the doctor, the cancer was squamous cell carcinoma, which is less aggressive than melanoma – another type of skin cancer.
However, the cause was oddly unusual: a strain of HPV in the nail area. Indeed, generally, this type of virus causes other types of tumors, such as cervical cancer, not affecting the fingers of patients.
This type of cancer “is very rare for several reasons. The cancer-causing strains associated with HPV tend to be sexually transmitted,” Soleymani told the paper. Today. “In Grace’s case, she had a wound, which became the entry point. So this thick skin that you have on your hands and feet that works as a natural barrier against infections and things like that, she disappeared, and the virus got there to infect his skin,” he adds.
“His case was interesting all the same, because the evolution of the disease was about three months, much shorter than the [tempo médio dos primeiros sinais do] squamous cell carcinoma”, completes the doctor.
How to prevent cancer caused by HPV?
In the prevention of cancer caused by HPV or any other type of skin cancer, Soleymani recommends people seek medical attention for any type of injury or sore that does not heal for more than four weeks. This helps in early diagnosis.
In addition, the dermatologist recommends vaccination against HPV which can prevent different types of cancer, such as those affecting the cervix, vagina, penis, mouth, anus and, in certain circumstances, the fingers .
HPV vaccine in Brazil
It should be remembered that in Brazil, through the Unified Health System (SUS), HPV vaccination is free for three specific groups:
- Girls aged 9 to 14;
- Boys 11 to 14 years old;
- Immunocompromised men and women, aged 15 to 45, living with HIV/AIDS, solid organ or bone marrow transplant recipients and cancer patients.
To get vaccinated, simply identify the vaccination site closest to your home. Before going to the Basic Health Unit (UBS), all the details needed to get vaccinated should be checked.
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