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An oncology nurse advisor is urging people to be on the lookout for “finger clubbing” this winter season and beyond, as it could be a sign of lung cancer.

There’s a simple test you can do to spot it, says Bupa UK’s Emma Norton. It’s called the Schamroth window test and involves putting your nails together to see if there’s a diamond-shaped space between your cuticles (see above). If there isn’t a space, this is a sign of finger clubbing.

“Most people with lung cancer don’t know that their fingers are clubbing unless they know specifically to look out for it,” says Norton, “but the Schamroth window test is a really easy way to check for potential underlying conditions.

“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.”

What is finger clubbing?

Finger (or digital) clubbing is where the ends of your fingers swell up. It happens in stages, according to Cancer Research UK. Firstly, the base of the nail becomes soft and the skin next to the nail bed becomes shiny. Next, the nails begin to curve more than normal when looked at from the side (known as Scarmouth’s sign). In the final stage, the ends of the fingers may get larger and swell. Read more

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