CDC Committee Recommends HPV Vaccine for Young boys picjumbo_com/ Pixabay

A California woman reportedly developed a rare form of nail cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) following a manicure at a salon.

Grace Garcia, 50, a California woman, visited a new salon when her usual place was booked in Nov. 2021. During her manicure, the nail technician was "very aggressive" and nicked the cuticle of her right ring finger, People reported.

"She cut me, and the cut wasn't just a regular cuticle cut," Garcia said. "She cut me deep, and that was one of the first times that happened to me. I've been doing (my nails) for years and years and years. I was upset."

Garcia, the mother of three, said that she couldn't recall if the technician used new tools during the service. She added that the wound didn't heal after three days.

In the months following, Garcia made numerous visits to doctors. One of the doctors prescribed her an antibiotic for the treatment. However, when that didn't help, her gynecologist referred her to a dermatologist in April 2022.

Meanwhile, Dr. Teo Soleymani, a dermatologist at UCLA Health, ultimately made the skin cancer diagnosis and found that she had squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer that occurs in the outer layer of the skin caused by high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Yahoo News reported.

"She had squamous cell carcinoma," Soleymani said. "Hers was caused by high-risk HPV."

Despite months of frustration, Garcia's advocacy on her own behalf resulted in her receiving a stage 1 diagnosis. Soleymani performed Mohs surgery — the same type of surgery First Lady Jill Biden recently underwent. Soleymani found clear margins around her finger, so no further treatment was necessary.

Soleymani says Garcia's situation is not uncommon.

"Interestingly, almost every single skin cancer I've dealt with that involved fingers or nails … have been associated with high-risk HPV," Soleymani said. "That is alarming — and it's in younger patients."

Soleymani added that the HPV vaccine prevents the development of this exact type of cancer.

About 1.8 million cases of squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed each year.

Garcia is urging others to take charge of their own health.

"I fought all the way from day one because I knew something was wrong," she said.

"In her case, she had a manicure done where she had an injury, and presumably so there were some contaminated tools or some sort of entry of this virus. And the virus triggers this cancer to develop," Soleymani said.

"It can be and is sexually transmitted, but much like any other viruses that need contact, anywhere where it can get into and under the skin is where it replicates."

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