Dr. John: Jammed toenails, fish oil and prostate cancer

10:04 AM, Aug 14, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to mornings@9news.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1
I would say about 2 weeks ago my big toe nail was all black and blue. That was caused by jamming it into something. But today at the nail salon, I noticed that the same toe nail is all white. I also noticed the nail was detached from the thin skin that covers the bottom. And I could lift up the bottom of my toe nail!! Will my toenail fall off??? Will it ever grow back??!! Please get back to me!!! Lauren

Answer
When you jam your toe and injure your toenail sometimes blood can collect underneath it. This is what's known as a subungual hematoma. When this blood collects under the toenail it causes the nail to lift off the nail bed. When that happens, and after the blood goes away, the nail can turn a white color. Since it's not longer connected to the nail bed it eventually falls off. A new nail will grow back but it might grow back with bumps or lines in it. This depends on whether the nail matrix, where the new nail grows from, was also injured or not. A new nail can take months to fully grown back in. While it is growing you only need to protect it with a simple bandage and trim it from time to time to reduce rough edges.

Question #2
Hi Dr. John, Recently there was an article about fish oil being connected to prostate cancer. I just had my annual physical and spoke with my Dr. and I was just wondering what your thoughts were. I take a daily fish oil supplement and have for a few years. She said the study was not very good. Thanks for your time. Jim

Answer
There was recent study that showed a "connection" between omega 3 fatty acid and prostate cancer. This study did not show a "cause and effect" between the two. In other words the researchers found that somehow they were linked but not that one actually caused the other. It was a small study and most experts' think it wasn't a well done study so has limited application for most of us. When it comes to omega 3 fatty acid the bottom line should be where a man's risk lies. If he has a greater risk of heart issues than he should talk to his doctor about taking this supplement. On the other hand, if he is at a higher risk of prostate cancer than he should talk about not taking the supplement. Like we are learning about most things in medicine this should be a personalized issue depending on risk factors and overall benefits of omega 3 fatty acid.

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