Cancer Research UK, a cancer research and awareness charity, is encouraging people at home to do a simple finger test. Reportedly, the finger test will reveal the early signs of lung cancer. The charity encourages people to do the finger test because lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the deadliest.
The finger test is called the diamond test where you find a diamond-shaped gap between your index fingernails. It is likewise called the Schamroth window. Here, you have to put the nails of your index fingers back-to-back. You should then find a tiny diamond-shaped space between your cuticles. This is the area where the light comes through. If there is no space and the nailbeds are touching, this means you are suffering from finger clubbing.
Finger clubbing does not automatically mean you have lung cancer, as there are other reasons why you have finger clubbing. Finger clubbing may also be present in conditions like cystic fibrosis, heart disease, Crohn’s, and other cancers. It may also be just hereditary. However, finger clubbing is a common symptom of lung cancer as it occurs in more than 35 percent of people with the disease. Lung cancer is also responsible for around 80 to 90 percent of finger clubbing cases.
There is finger clubbing because of the increased blood flow to the finger area. There is an accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues at the ends of the fingers. When you have finger clubbing, it is best to consult your doctor to rule out lung cancer. Lung cancer is usually diagnosed late because there aren’t noticeable symptoms.
The other symptoms to look for when one has lung cancer are coughing often, having cough for a long time, shortness of breath, coughing up phlegm with signs of blood, aches or pains in the chest or shoulder, loss of appetite, tiredness, and weight loss.