'Diamond gap' fingernail test could help you spot early sign of lung cancer

Sometimes people experiences changes in the shape of their fingers and nails.

This can include curving nails, the nail bed softening, the skin next to the nail bed becoming shiny and the ends of the fingers getting larger.

These changes are known as finger clubbing and can often be an early warning sign of lung cancer.

According to Cancer Research, more than 35 percent of people with non small cell lung cancer experience finger clubbing.

But how can you tell whether you have finger clubbing?

Jean Williams Taylor shared a photo of her curved nails online and was later diagnosed with lung cancer

It turns out there’s a very simple test you can do to see, called the schamroth window test.

Also known as the ‘diamond gap’ test, it involves pressing your nails together and checking whether there’s a tiny diamond-shaped window of light between them.

If you don’t have the ‘diamond gap’ then it’s possible you could have finger clubbing.

Those who think they might have finger clubbing are advised to speak to their doctor.

There should be a small diamond-shaped window of light between the nails

In a post on their website Cancer Research says: “Finger clubbing is unusual. If you have it and are worried, do speak to your doctor.

“They should send you for a chest x-ray to check your heart and lungs.”

They added: “Clubbing is thought to be caused by fluid collecting in the soft tissues at the end of the fingers.

“This is caused by more blood flowing to the area than usual. But we don’t fully understand why this happens.

“It may be due to the tumour producing particular chemicals or hormones.”

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Earlier this year a woman named Jean Williams Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer after sharing a photo of her finger nails on Facebook .

She revealed that after posting the photo pals urged her to seek medical help.

Jean initially thought this suggestion was a “tad extreme” but after visiting her doctor and undergoing several tests, she was diagnosed with cancer in both of her lungs.

She wrote on the Wigan Today page: “Two weeks ago I posted this pic on my wall asking if anyone had seen nails like this. I was urged to go to the Doctor. A tad extreme I thought…

“I was rushed for blood tests and a chest xray, two days later I got a phone call to go for a CT scan, two days later a PET scan and more blood test, the day later a breathing test on my lungs and a scan on my heart, the day later an MRI scan then a lung biopsy.

“After a gruelling two weeks, yesterday I got my results… Cancer in both my lungs!!!!

“When your nails curve it’s often linked to heart and lung disease and it’s official term is ‘clubbing’. I had no idea….Did you????

“Hope this post can help someone else in the early stages of cancer.”


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