Nails

Someone told me that your nails might turn black and drop off, as well as your toenails. I am going through 6 treatments once every third week chemo is same as most use with ove cancer. Taxol and another one.

Please share with me regarding nails. I expected hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, but not nails.

Report post

26 replies. Join the discussion

My thumbnails turned black and I had a black stripe down my fingernails. Some of my toenails did too, but none fell off, thankfully. I have heard of one person whose nails did come off, so presumably it differs from person to person.

Report post

I have had acrylics for years, but my nails underneath are fine.

Report post

A few months after chem one toe nail slowly turned black and fell off; looks and feels fine now.

Report post

I am in round four (3 weeks on, 1 week off of cisplatin/taxol/avastin) and haven't lost any nails, nor have any turned black. Everyone is different. Don't fret until you need to...and even then, don't fret. :)

Sue

Report post

I just finished treatment for my 3rd recurrence and I'm happy to report no problems with my nails, actually my nails grew like crazy - had to clip them once a week. A lot of friend with Breast Cancer have problems with their nails, but I'm happy to report thats one area of my body that wasn't affected. Try eating some jello to keep your nails strong if you're fearful, but try to relax and visualize it NOT happening.

Report post

I've had 3 regimens of chemo. Repeated Taxotere. My nails may darken a bit, but never turned black or fell off.

Report post

Some of my toenails and fingernails turned darker on the sides.
And it grows a little faster and like "thicker" than before treatments.

Report post

I took my acrylic nails off this week because I didn't want to go to surgery with them on. I was getting tired of them always growing out. I found a dark spot on the middle finger on my left hand and had that treated for fungus. My nails are so soft...I ill miss the acrylic nails, but not the trouble of keeping them up. I have frosted my hair for years because my hair is so soft and fine...last week my hairdresser said she may not have to frost any more...it's turning light a the roots. Guess the gray finally came in over the holidays while I was waiting for my test results from the OVA1...nothing like worry to turn an old lady's hair gray. From now on I will be naural hair and nails, I guess.

Report post

I've read this as well. Pretty sure I won't mention this one to my partner. She is already so concerned about all the GI side effects as it is.
I say paint your nails teal! Saw teal nail polish the other day. Even though neither of us wear polish I'm thinking of getting it.

Report post

I was on taxotere for hormone negative bc. I think taxotere is similar to taxol, and I didn't have any nail problems other than thinning. I'm now on xoloda (capicibetibine sp?) which has caused the loss of a couple toenails, but these have since grown back. They are still thin and weak, with ridges, but it is better than nothing. I used to have beautiful nails, and had extensions too, but these days I'm just happy to be alive. In the overall scheme of things, nails are not that important. . .

Report post

Colli . . . I did have problems with 6 of my fingernails turning green and black after Taxol/Carbo but they did not fall off and did return to normal within about 3 months. This is a known side effect and my oncologist's office was aware of it. I just used some Apple Cider Vinegar. If you search old posts on the site, you will find a discussion about this sometime last year. It happens to many people but not everyone. Good luck and I hope you are spared. It turned out just to be one more thing to feel unattractive about for a while but my nails are fine now so no long term issues. J

Report post

My nails were fine at front line taxol/cisplatin. But this time on Doxil/Carbo, both of my big toes turn purple - I just painted them to cover up. It looked ugly.

Report post

My feet were bruised between chemos 4 and 5 of carbo/doxil. Toes, soles, ankles...black and blue, appearing from nowhere.

Report post

I lost all my nails. After many months of dealing with that and unable to use my hands because of neuropathy, the nails have now grown back, thank goodness. I had not thought of using teal nailpolish. I may just give that a try.
Something fun and different. I must say tho, losing my nails did freak me out at first.
We do overcome lots of challenges

Report post

I had nail damage too - just my toenails - and was unaware that they could be affected by chemo. Mine didn't go black or fall off but they became an odd shape and developed 'rings' like growth rings on a tree. I was concerned at times because they looked as though they were 'lifting'. I'm now three months post-chemo and the appearance and function have improved.

Report post

DX IIIc OVCA last April. I did 8 rounds paclitaxel/carboplatin with 5 rounds avastin every three weeks, now on avastin maintenance. I had always had frail nails but about half way through chemo, my nails started getting stronger like never before & gained about 30 lbs. too. Nails still strong.......steroids during chemo + good nutrition? Can't say for sure. Everyone is different but we ALL have to deal with one or more side effects for sure. I was not spared peripheral neuropathy, hair loss, body aches & a bit of nausea.
Good luck with your treatment, hang in there, and may we all live long enough..... never to have to fight the beast again.

Report post

I finished 6 rounds of carbo/taxol in July and no nail changes at all.

Report post

No problems with nails while taking Taxol/Carbo. Now on weekly Taxotere and no problems...so far (two months in). I did remove all polish and after showers rub "The Hoofmaker" cream (for horses...:)...used to be the rage) into my nails. Today the chemo nurse told me to use tea tree oil. Will now also do that now and then.

Report post

I had a toenail turn purple and then lost it about 6 months postchemo. Must admit it freaked me out, but was not as painful as it sounds as new toe had started to grow back and skin under the nail had hardened. The new nail was ridged at first. It's fine now. Side effects vary from person to person. This was a lot less cumbersome than some others during chemo, but, like lympodema, took me by surprise as it was so much delayed from chemo. I have learned to remind myself that the key thing is fighting the cancer.

Report post

I had 8 months of weekly low dose carbo/taxol. In the last month, I lost 3 toenails but they were never discolored. When the toenail came off, the new nail was half way grown. It was not a big deal. Fingernails were fine.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support OCNA

Help the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Discussion topics

Support OCNA

Donate to OCNA

Community leaders