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This ‘diamond gap’ fingernail test could show an early sign of lung cancer


The tiny diamond-shaped window of light shows your nails are not clubbed (Picture: Laura Abernethy)

When you press your nails together, do you see a tiny diamond-shaped window of light?

The test is used to check for the early warning signs of lung cancer.

The idea is that if you don’t have the ‘diamond gap’, you could have finger clubbing, which can be a symptom of the condition.

According to Cancer Research, finger clubbing happens in 35% of people with non-small cell lung cancer, and 4% of those with small cell lung cancer.

Finger clubbing means the base of the nail bed softens and the skin next to the nail becomes shiny.

The ends of the fingers might also get larger.

But one of the easiest ways of spotting it is looking for curved nails from the side, which is where the ‘diamond gap’ test comes in.

If you put your hands up in front of you and push the tips of your index fingers against each other, then bend the tops of your fingers so the nails touch.

If there is a small diamond shape, it is called Schamroth’s window and the nails are not clubbed.

Last year, Jean Taylor revealed that she discovered she had lung cancer after her daughter became concerned about her curved nails.

Jean Taylor’s clubbed nails were a sign of cancer (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Of course, not having the window does not mean you definitely have lung cancer but if you think your nails are clubbed, speak to your doctor.

Other symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks and gets worse; recurrent chest infections; coughing up blood; pain when breathing or coughing; breathlessness; ack of energy; loss of appetite; unexplained weight loss.

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