Lung cancer symptoms: Simple finger test could be used for early diagnosis
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, and the disease becomes more common as you get older.
There are about 46,400 people are diagnosed with it each year.
There are two main types of Lung cancer, which are either non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Occasionally, the cancer can spread to the lungs from somewhere else in the body. This is called lung metastases or secondary lung cancer.
Knowing the early signs of the disease are crucial, with an at-home finger test known as the Schamroth window test, which could help determine your risk.
Diamond gap finger test
A simple at-home method is said to help detect a possible lung cancer warning.
Known as the “diamond gap” finger test or the Schamroth window test, it aims to spot lung cancer early.
The finger test involves a person putting their nails together to check if there is a diamond-shape space in between the cuticles.
How to do it
Put the nails of your index fingers together, back-to-back.
Next, look for a tiny diamond-shaped space between your cuticles, where the light is coming through.
The ends of the fingers may be larger than usual, and the nails curved.
If there isn’t space, and the nailbeds are touching, this is a sign of finger clubbing.
Finger clubbing and lung cancer risk
Clubbing of the finger occurs when the ends of the fingers swell up which occurs in stages.
What first appears is the base of the nail becoming soft and the skin next to the nail bed becoming shiny.
Next, nails begin to curve more than usual which is visible when looked at from the side.
Finally, the ends of the fingers become larger and begin to swell.
The final stage is thought to occur because of fluid collecting in the soft tissues of the fingers.
“While not having this diamond-shaped window does not automatically indicate lung cancer, it can be a symptom,” says Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
The health site continued: “If you think your nails are clubbed, speak to your doctor.”
According to Cancer Research UK, roughly 35% of lung cancer patients experienced finger clubbing
Main symptoms of lung cancer
Other possible early signs of the disease may include:
A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
A long-standing cough that gets worse
Chest infections that keep coming back
Coughing up blood
An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
If you do experience any symptoms of lung cancer, or have any concerns, you should see your GP.