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Doctor Marcus
Doctor Marcus, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1297
Experience:  US Trained, US Board Certified MD, Medical School Faculty Member
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My nails have a dark band of pink at the tips, and the nail

Resolved Question:

My nails have a dark band of pink at the tips, and the nail plates are pale (still pinkish though, and thumb, pointer and middle fingers have lunulas). I read about Terry's Nails and am really scared it could be indicative of cancer. I don't drink, so no likelihood of cirrhosis, and there is no reason for me to suspect heart problems, kidney problems, or diabetes. Can Terry's Nails be the ONLY symptom of cancer, or are there other things I should be looking for?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Doctor Marcus replied 7 years ago.
Terry's nails are not typically a presenting symptom of cancer and can be a very non-specific finding, meaning that nails can have this appearance even if there isn't anything serious going on. If you have a concern about this, a basic medical evaluation by your doctor might be a good idea (basic metabolic and liver labs will rule out many of the conditions such as which can cause Terry's nails), but only a few of nail findings are very specific for disease (lengthwise dark streaks down the nail, clubbing, or splinter hemorrhages). Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck to you!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is there anything else darker pink arcs at the nail tips can mean, or other tests I should ask my doctor about?
Expert:  Doctor Marcus replied 7 years ago.
There is nothing specific about that which comes to mind aside from something called "half and half" nails which can occur when the lunula disappears and the tip of the nail bed is darker than the closer portion. This is specific for renal failure, but if your renal failure was severe enough to cause these changes in your nails, you would most likely have other symptoms. In any case, this can be ruled out with a simple blood test looking at your creatinine level, a marker for kidney function. This test is part of the routine blood work at a routine physical. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Regards!
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