Clubbed Nails May Indicate Lung Cancer


It is a common practice among people that if they notice any kind of strange symptom, like an unusual lump, a rough hoarse voice, any sort of foreign body sensation, a long-lasting pimple, they go to see their physician as soon as possible. However, clubbing of the nails caused by the swelling of the fingertips is one symptom that might not be taken seriously whereas it can be an indicator of chronic diseases, specifically, lung cancer.

A woman, JeanJeannie Williams Taylor, from the United Kingdom recently posted an image of her clubbed nail on social media and surprisingly, she found out it is a symptom of lung cancer. She had asked her followers if such a nail was seen by anyone and consequently, she was urged by one follower to go for a thorough checkup. The advice appeared a “tad extreme” for her, however, she took it and went for a checkup.

She went through a series of tests; chest x-ray, PET scan, CT scan, Bloodwork, MRI scan and lung biopsy. After two weeks, Taylor got her diagnosis results which revealed she had cancer in both lungs. Taylor had no idea that clubbed nails could be associated with lung cancer. She hopes to spread awareness regarding this unusual symptom for other people who might be going through some stage of lung cancer.

“Clubbed nails”, however, are seen as a red flag in the medical community. Clubbed nails indicate that the patient has some kind of lung disease or a heart disease or gastrointestinal disease. Dr. Eric Presser, an MD, thoracic surgeon, further adds that these nails can indicate pulmonary fibrosis, malabsorption (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), mesothelioma or any such health conditions. Dilation of blood vessels can also cause curving of the nail-bed.

This symptom does not necessarily point towards chronic diseases always, in fact, many cases tend to be benign. With these results in mind, it is a major requirement to keep your body conditions tuned in. If any such change like “clubbed nails” appears in your body, instantly, contact your doctor.