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A 40-year-old American woman discovered she had acral lentiginous melanoma after noticing a small spot between her toes.

The story begins in 2015. Amy Jardon, a 40-year-old American, is quietly installed on her sofa when she suddenly feels an itch between her toes.

She takes off her sock and carefully examines her left foot: between her quartus and her quintus (that is to say: between her little toe and the one next to it), there is a brown spot surrounded by a ring – “like the planet Saturn in miniature“described the forties to our American colleagues from Today. The lesion is the size of a pinhead.

Not particularly worried, Amy Jardon still shows the spot to her doctor the following week, during a check-up appointment. The doctor thinks there is nothing to worry about – but still prescribes a biopsy for the 40-year-old, “just in case”.

An excellent idea since, when the results of the biopsy arrive, Amy has a shock: she suffers from acral lentiginous melanoma, a rare skin cancer. “I was diagnosed in January 2015. However, in December, cancer took away my mother. And 6 months earlier, my sister had been diagnosed with cancer…

A skin cancer that is not related to UV rays

Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) develops mainly on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet (more rarely on the nails): concretely, we see a small dark spot appear (sometimes, on the contrary, it is discolored). Unlike other melanomas, ALM is not linked to excessive exposure to UV rays: scientists rather suspect exposure to trauma and/or chemical agents. The diagnosis of ALM essentially involves biopsy.

Following the diagnosis, Amy Jardon underwent surgery to excise the cancerous lesion. “The postoperative course was complicated: I spent a month on my sofa, unable to put my foot down.“Nevertheless: a few months after the operation, the forties was able to resume sport and even participate in two half-marathons.

During the 5 years that followed, the American benefited from special medical supervision; now she sees a dermatologist once a year.


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