THERE are some obvious symptoms associated with lung cancer, such as chest pain and a persistent cough.
And these are obvious indicators of the disease in the later stages.
GettyYou might notice finger clubbing while getting your nails done[/caption]
The ‘diamond gap’ fingernail test can indicate whether you have finger clubbing
But you might be surprised to hear of a lesser known sign of the disease that could emerge when you’re getting your nails done.
Having swollen fingers is tell-tale lung cancer – especially if they grow larger towards the fingertips.
The condition, known as clubbing, also makes the nails bulge and curve downwards – 80 per cent of people with lung cancer develop this.
Other symptoms of lung cancer which are less common include drooping eyelids, swallowing problems, dry mouth and constipation.
Lung cancer accounts for around 13 per cent of all new cases of the disease each year and each day, around 130 people are told they have the illness.
But spotting the disease early can help your prognosis, often allowing doctors to spot and treat the disease early enough so it doesn’t spread.
How to tell if you have clubbed fingers
Try the ‘diamond gap’ finger test, also known as the Schamroth window test, to see if you have clubbed fingers.
Start by putting your hands up in front of you and touch the tips of both your index fingers against each other.
Then, make your nails touch by bending the tops of your fingers against each other.
If you can see a small diamond space between them (Schamroth’s window) then your nails are not clubbed.
It’s not clear what causes the clubbing, but research from the charity shows that it may be due to large cells such as megakaryocytes, which get stuck in the small blood vessels at the tips of the fingers.
Official guidance states: “Finger clubbing is unusual. If you think you might have it and are worried, do speak to your doctor.
“They can examine you and find out about any other symptoms you might have.
“They can send you for tests if necessary, such as a chest x-ray to check your lungs.”
While finger clubbing is a rarer symptom of lung cancer, the experts at the charity said there are nine that are the most common in those diagnosed with the illness.
having a cough most of the timehaving a change in a cough you have had for a long time – it may sound different or be painful when you coughgetting out of breath doing the things you used to do without a problemcoughing up phlegm (sputum) with blood in ithaving an ache or pain in the chest or shoulderchest infections that keep coming back or a chest infection that doesn’t get betterlosing your appetitefeeling tired all the time (fatigue)losing weight
In some cases you may also experience pain and swelling in the joints.
While it’s rare, the medics stated that some types of lung cancer cells produce hormones that go into the bloodstream.
They explained that these hormones can cause symptoms that don’t seem to be related to lung cancer.
The medics also warned that there is a very rare type of lung cancer that can grow right at the top of the lung, which is called a Pancoasr tumour.
Most people who have this type of cancer will suffer severe shoulder pain, or pain that travels down the arm.
If you’re worried about any of your symptoms, you should book an appointment with your GP.
In the event of an emergency, always call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.