Unrecognizable Fingerprint

Have you heard of a cancer patient who was refused a wire transfer due to an unrecognizable fingerprint? Or the one whose prints faded and was unable to login to her banking application?

Due to the coronavirus, we spend less time in the real world and more time in the digital realm. As we spend more time at home, the digital channel usually means our mobile phones. Some smartphones need a fingerprint as a security measure.

Moreover, fingerprints are used to provide biometric security for laptops, secure applications, as well as for identity verification and background checks. As such, in the last few years, and especially in the previous few weeks, they have become a central component of our life.

Severe fingerprint loss can be an unusual adverse side effect of some cancer drugs. The condition might be temporary, and in some cases, fingerprints gradually might return after treatment discontinuation. Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center Cancer Institute in the Netherlands demonstrated in a study, published in JAMA Oncology, that fingerprint loss may be a side effect of some cancer treatment independent of hand-foot syndrome (HFS) or hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR). Although fingerprint loss has no clinical significance and is considered a low-risk side effect of cancer treatments, it can upset patients and disrupt their regular lives.