Student's thumb amputated after skin cancer found after biting her nails

You might want to think twice about the next time you bite your nails after reading this story.

A student from Australia had to have her thumb amputated after doctors diagnosed her with skin cancer following a nail-biting incident.

Courtney Whithorn, 20, had developed a nail-biting habit while she was at school. According to an interview with The Mirror, her thumb started to turn black after she bit the entire nail off, but she kept it hidden from friends and family for four years.

She continued to the publication, "I didn't even know I was biting my nails sometimes - it just happened. I sort of lost the feeling because I was doing it that often."

The woman decided to consult a plastic surgeon when the doctor diagnosed her with acral lentiginous subungual melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer. "When you think about it how many kids bite their nails it's crazy it came to that," she explained.

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Since her initial diagnosis in July, Whithorn has had to have four surgeries. The last operation removed her thumb completely.

"When I found out that biting my nail off was the cause of the cancer it shattered me," she said. "There's not enough research to say what the survival rate is or what the likelihood of it coming back is because - we just don't know much about it."

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