Karolina Jasko, 21, first noticed a thin black line on her thumb during a visit to the nail salon in 2016 but she didn’t see her doctor until her thumb swelled up and became red from an unrelated infection several days later.
“It was overwhelming because everything happened so quick,” Jasko told the“Today” show. “It was so scary.”
Doctors say similar cases of skin cancer are on the rise, which they blamed on the popularity of gel manicures that require setting with harmful ultraviolet light and are frequently modeled by celebrities like the Kardashians.
“They still don’t know where the infection came from,” Jasko added, saying the infection saved her life after it led her to see a doctor.
“If I would have waited longer and not come in with that, it could have been possible the melanoma would have spread.”
Cancer on the extremities — called acral lentiginous melanoma — is more aggressive than other melanomas and killed reggae legend Marley in 1981 after he discovered a dark spot under his toenail.