This at-home test can help detect the early signs of cancer
What you may already know: your fingernails can tell you tons about your health. Weak and brittle? Your thyroid is probably playing up. White spots all over? You’re likely deficient in zinc. Chances are, however, you don’t already know that your nails can help detect one of the earliest signs of lung cancer: clubbing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this condition occurs when the tops of the fingers or toes enlarge, causing the nail to curve around them. To date, there’s no known cause, although it’s believed that chronic illnesses trigger low oxygen in the blood, which results in a change in the curvature of the nail bed.
There’s an easy way to tell if it’s happened to you.
Start by taking the ‘Schamroth’s window’ test, which involves pushing the tips of your index fingers together to see whether or not a diamond-shaped patch of light shows through.
"Most people with lung cancer don’t know that their fingers are clubbing unless they know specifically to look out for it. But the Schamroth window test is a really easy way to check for potential underlying conditions,” oncology nurse Emma Norton explained in an interview with Huffington Post.
"The test is used by medical professionals as a partial method of confirming conditions, but you can also do the test yourself – and it only takes a few seconds.”
For the record, clubbing can also be a symptom of other conditions, including pulmonary fibrosis, mesothelioma, Crohn’s disease and colitis.
Noticed this symptom? It’s important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is key!