Finger clubbing: a simple fingernail test to detect lung cancer

Last update: June 2022

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Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because early symptoms are vague and go relatively unnoticed. The disease is usually only diagnosed at an advanced stage. However, a simple test allows you to find out for yourself if something is wrong.

The first symptoms of lung cancer

The first symptoms of lung cancer can be multiple: hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, hypertension, weight loss, myasthenia gravis, fatigue and persistent cough, but also drumstick fingers. What is it about ? The last phalanx of the fingers is swollen and the nails bulge, following a lack of oxygenation. Clubbing can also be a symptom of other serious conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, and liver disease.

See also the article: Cancer: the warning symptoms

The clubbing test

The Schamroth test is very simple. You can perform it yourself to check if you have drumstick fingers. Place your index fingers in a hook (as if you were forming a heart with your fingers) then place their nails against each other. Normally, you will see a tiny diamond-shaped break at the cuticles. If not, you probably have drumstick nails.

Warning: just because you can’t see a space between your fingernails doesn’t mean you’re sick. You may very well have been born with fingers of this shape. In any case, contacting your doctor and having a check-up can’t hurt.

See also the article: What do your nails say about your health?

You can see an example in the video below.

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