Fingernail clubbing may signal lung cancer + other lung, heart & stomach diseases!
August 13, 2009
More than 2 centuries before today the Greek philosopher Hippocrates had recognized that a ‘clubbing fingernail’ is often a sign for the presence of a serious disease. Now the ‘clubbing fingernail’ (a.k.a. the ‘Hippocratic fingernail’) is associated with lung cancer and various specific other diseases, including: lung, heart and gastrointestinal problems.
Some statistics on fingernail clubbing & lung cancer:
“Nail clubbing has been reported in 29% of patients with lung cancer and is observed more commonly in patients with non–small cell lung carcinoma (35%) than in patients with small cell lung carcinoma (4%).”
How to recognize a ’clubbing fingernail‘?
‘Clubbing fingernails’ are characterized by increased distal finger tip mass + increased longitudinal & horizontal curvature of the nail plate. This fingernail condition is characterized by a large angle between the nail plate and the proximal nail fold: larger than 180o, whereas in normal nails the angle is less than 160o: see the picture below.
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