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Finger Clubbing Maybe a Sign of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a highly prevalent type of cancer when lung cells start to grow abnormally. Typically, there are no signs of lung cancer and it is diagnosed much later when it has spread to other body parts and treatment becomes nearly impossible. However, health experts have linked finger clubbing to be an early sign of lung cancer.

Many health experts agree that finger clubbing indicates changes in the shape of a person’s fingers as well as his fingernails. Interestingly these changes appear during lung cancer and look swollen. But it may also show up in many other diseases.

Still, they advise people to pay attention to their fingers and nails. In case they suspect having finger clubbing, they should immediately get tested for cancer. Cancer Research UK associated three major changes with finger clubbing.

  • The nail bed feels soft and the skin of this nail bed appears to be shiny.
  • The nails take an unusual curve which looks different from normal (Scarmouth’s sign)
  • The finger end becomes abnormally large  (drumstick fingers)

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Finger clubbing is a response to fluid accumulation inside the soft tissues in fingers. It takes place when the blood flow towards the finger is abnormally high. However, there is no clear answer to what causes finger clubbing.

Finger clubbing is not the only sign of lung cancer in fact the cancer symptoms are different in every patient. But it is important to remember that ignoring any unusual sign can be dangerous. Health experts advise to focus on body changes and in case any unusual thing appears, they suggested getting it checked by a specialist.

Not just the physical symptoms, any persistent symptom such as pain, cough, difficulty in breathing, or any other thing which doesn’t feel right can be linked with lung cancer. Excluding finger clubbing, there are many other signs of lung cancer. Some of them include wheezing, unexplained pain in the chest or shoulder, hoarse voice, dysphagia, swelling in the face, or swelling in the neck.

There is no standard treatment for lung cancer and it is mostly a combination of different things, based on the patient’s condition. The treatment option also depends upon which type of cancer a person is having, what is the size of the tumor and where is it located. The stage of cancer can predict the recovery from it. If cancer is diagnosed in the early stages in a person who has overall good health, there are high chances that he will beat cancer. On the other side, for cancer which is diagnosed in the final stages among immuno-compromised patients or elderly patients, the recovery rate is low.

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Deciding a treatment plan requires patient evaluation, consideration of risk factors, and health status. On the basis of all this information, a doctor decides the best treatment plan for cancer. However, he can only make the recommendations and the choice to proceed mainly relies on the patient. The common treatment options for lung cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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