Cancer is a scary thought – but what is even more scary is not knowing when you have it, and sometimes, the symptoms aren’t as obvious as you might expect.
A post from social media user Jean Williams Taylor featuring an image of her curved fingernails on Facebook has gone viral, after she explained how the unusual shape was the catalyst for her eventual cancer diagnosis.
In the caption, Jean explained how she was urged by Facebook friends to see a doctor as soon as she shared the image to her profile, and after undergoing tests, it was confirmed that she had cancer in both of her lungs. Her symptom, which is officially called ‘finger clubbing’ is not as common as other symptoms but is described by the NHS as being ‘changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger.’
Sharing her story to raise awareness, Jean wrote: ‘2 weeks ago I posted this pic on my wall asking if anyone had seen nails like this. A few google post later and I was urged to go to the Doctor. A tad extreme I thought….
‘I was rushed for blood tests and a chest xray, 2 days later I got a phone call to go for a CT scan, 2 days later a PET scan and more blood test, the day later a breathing test on my lungs and a scan on my heart, the day later an MRI scan then a lung biopsy.
She continued: ‘After a gruelling 2 weeks, yesterday I got my results…….Cancer in both my lungs!!!! When your nails curve its often linked to heart and lung disease and its official term is ‘clubbing’ I had no idea….Did You ????
‘Hope this post can help someone else in the early stages of cancer. Big shout out to the NHS you have been excellent and I thank all the staff that have dealt with my diagnosis.’
As stated by the NHS, other huge yet unexpected symptoms of lung cancer include:
• A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
• A long-standing cough that gets worse
• Persistent chest infections
• Coughing up blood
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Persistent breathlessness
• Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
- A high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
• Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
• A hoarse voice
• Swelling of your face or neck
• Persistent chest or shoulder pain
If you have experienced any of the above, the NHS urges that you book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible – even if it is just to be on the safe side.