My manicure resulted in a cancer diagnosis

My manicure resulted in a cancer diagnosis

My manicure resulted in a cancer diagnosis

It was a manicure from hell.

When Grace Garcia decided to get a manicure in 2021, the mother of three had no idea that the outcome would be a cancer diagnosis.

The San Gabriel, Calif., resident tried to book an appointment at her regular salon in November 2021, but since it was fully booked, she decided to try another one.

At a new location she visited near her workplace, the technician was “aggressive” when looking at the foreskin on her right toe.

Garcia said her finger felt “raw” after the manicure, recalling FOX 11 that “it hurt a lot”.

“It just looked like a blister,” the 50-year-old said, noting that it would not heal.

“She probably used the tool on the previous person. I have no idea,” she told “Whatever was in my hand germinated. … It appeared. It looked like a wart, and I was like, ‘What the hell is this?'”

Three months after the manicure, the blister-like wound near the nail was not improving. She then went to a doctor who sent her to a dermatologist for a finger biopsy.

“I knew it wasn’t good,” she said.

Almost immediately, she received an ominous phone call from her dermatologist.

My manicure resulted in a cancer diagnosis
Garcia noticed that her finger had not healed three months after the manicure.
FOX 11/ggzella/TikTok
Garcia had the finger biopsied after it failed to heal.
Garcia had the finger biopsied after it failed to heal.

“He called me on the way to the car. That scared me – she admitted. “He said I had to go back.”

Garcia then went to the UCLA Health Clinic to see a specialist, Dr. Theo Soleymani, who said she had squamous cell carcinoma — a type of skin cancer caused by high-risk HPV (human papillomavirus infection), which was likely triggered by her manicure.

He told the publication that he’s only seen a few caused by manicures.

“We rarely see high-risk squamous cell carcinoma arising from this, but I’ve had half a dozen with this phenomenon,” he explained.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers must “clean and disinfect tools after each client in accordance with your state’s board of cosmetology policy.”

Garcia was officially diagnosed with stage 1 cancer, but luckily, she saw Dr. Soleymani early enough.

“Your outcomes depend entirely on how early you catch them, and very often they are completely curable,” he told Today. “With her persistence, not only did she manage to get a great result, she probably saved herself from having her finger amputated.”

Fortunately, Garcia did not need radiation or “any additional treatment” thanks to her quick action.

“Anytime you have a growth that doesn’t go away in about four weeks, that’s our sign,” Soleymani said. “You should see your dermatologist.”

“I fought all the way from day one,” Garcia said, “because I knew something was wrong.”


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