According to Cancer Research UK, lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, with around 48,500 people diagnosed annually. As a result, it is crucial to be aware of its symptoms and warning signs, including those that are not widely known. Experts are now encouraging people to conduct a “finger test” to identify symptoms that can appear in our nails.
Finger clubbing is a condition in which the ends of the fingers swell up, and it could be a warning sign of lung cancer. The condition develops in stages, beginning with softening at the base of the nail, followed by shiny skin near the nail bed, and then abnormal curving of the nails when viewed from the side.
Finally, the fingers may become larger and swell due to fluid accumulation in the soft tissues of the fingers. While the absence of the diamond-shaped gap between fingernails does not necessarily imply lung cancer, it could be a symptom worth investigating.
One lung cancer patient, Brian Gemmell, whose only indication of the disease was finger clubbing, stated, “Go and see your doctor if you’ve got anything that you’re concerned about – that’s what a GP is for. Go as soon as you can.”
Symptoms of lung cancer vary from person to person, with some people displaying several symptoms while others display none. Dr. Helen Piercy, a GP, recommends that if you notice any symptoms that concern you, contact your GP and schedule an appointment.