• Lung cancer affects thousands of people today 
  • During the early stages of the disease, there are often no symptoms
  • As it progresses, a sign in your nails will warn you of the condition

One of the most common yet serious types of cancer is lung cancer. Official statistics reveal that approximately 47,000 people in the UK are diagnosed each year as having the condition.

Like most cancers, there are no symptoms during the early stages. Those who have the condition develop symptoms like persistent coughing as the ailment progresses. Oftentimes, these include coughing up blood and feeling pain when coughing. There are some lung cancer symptoms; however, that may not be related to your lungs.

A Sign In Your Fingers

Medical practitioners say that out of ten people who have lung cancer, around three of them may develop finger clubbing. This involves specific changes happening to the sufferer’s fingernails and fingers.

One particular change you need to watch out for is the Scarmouth’s sign. This condition involves the curving of nails beyond normal and can be seen when looking at them from the side.

A Gradual Change

Cancer Research UK reveals that finger clubbing usually happens in stages. Before Scarmouth’s sign appears, the base of your nail turns soft, and the skin next to the base will look shiny. Over time, the nails curve beyond normal, strong evidence of the development of Scarmouth’s sign.

nail shape lung cancer
nail shape lung cancer angeljana_- Pixabay

At this point, you may see the end of your fingers getting larger; a condition referred to by some sectors as drumstick fingers. This occurs after Scarmouth’s sign has fully developed.

During the latter stages of finger clubbing, you may start seeing extra areas of bone-forming on your ankles, wrists, and finger joints. According to Cancer Research UK, it is very important to have this thoroughly checked by your doctor as the condition can easily be mistaken for some less-serious ailment. Called hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy or HPOA, there have been many instances where the condition was misdiagnosed as arthritis.

Health professionals believe finger clubbing may have been caused by the accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues located at your fingertips. This causes blood to flow to the areas in more quantities than normal, though health experts admit they have no solid explanation yet on why this occurs. They theorized, however, that it may be caused by the tumor producing certain hormones or chemicals, a process they call paraneoplastic syndrome.