Lung cancer: Signs and symptoms to look out for
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There are many symptoms of lung cancer, from the persistent hacking cough to more obscure signs. A simple finger test can identify a worrisome indicator of the disease. The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ask of you: “If you press your fingers together, is there a tiny diamond-shaped hole?” If there is, then you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’re not experiencing finger clubbing.
This lesser known symptom of lung cancer occurs in 35 percent of people with non-small cell lung cancer.
What’s finger clubbing?
Finger clubbing is where the fingertips “become more curved, or the ends get larger”.
“Clubbing often occurs in heart and lung diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood,” the charity explained.
Lung cancer is “the most common reason for fingers to club”, so it’s imperative to get it checked out by a GP.
Cancer Research UK go into more detail about the symptom, otherwise known as digital clubbing or Hippocratic fingers.
Finger clubbing happens in stages; the first being that “the base of the nail (nail bed) becomes soft and the skin next to the nail bed becomes shiny”.
The next stage is when “the nails then curve more than normal when looked at from the side” (i.e. Scarmouth’s sign).
Then “the ends of the fingers may get larger” – sometimes called drumstick fingers.
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In the later stages of finger clubbing, extra areas of bone might form on the finger joints, buy cheap sinequan from india without prescription wrists and ankles.
This is known as hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy (HPOA), and may be mistaken for arthritis.
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation outlines further signs of the disease.
In terms of the notorious cough, it will need to have persisted for at least three weeks in order to warrant a call to your GP.
If you already have a chronic cough, do pay attention to whether it has become worse – and if any blood is coming up.
A person may also suffer from breathlessness, repetitive chest infections, chest or shoulder pain, and/or loss of appetite.
The loss of appetite may also be accompanied by “unexplained weight loss”, meaning you’re not exercising more than usual but keep shedding the pounds.
Another sign of lung cancer is unexplained fatigue, hoarseness and blood clots.
How can lung cancer affect anybody?
Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, ex-smokers still have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Furthermore, second-hand smoke can also increase your risk – and who hasn’t walked past a cloud of smoke on the high street pre-Covid?
Any exposure to asbestos, radon gas and/or diesel fumes can also be a risk factor.
In addition, a poor diet and lack of exercise has also been attributed to the disease.
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