Nail diagnosis

Something weird I just remembered is how the pulmonologist who diagnosed me grabbed my hand to look at my nails to get affirmation of the diagnosis!

I’ve always had curved nails but didn’t know that that is an indicator of lung cancer or lung problems. Now that I’m reading up about it I see there are various medical sites that explain the medical conditions associated with various nail issues like white lines, grooves, loose nails etc.

The following article appeared in the Daily Express:

Nails can provide GPs with vital clues to what may be happening elsewhere in the body, pointing to everything from lung disease to anaemia.

Club-shaped nails
Could mean: lung cancer

If fingernails are “dome” shaped and your fingers resemble clubs, it could be a warning sign of serious diseases such as lung cancer. In fact, it is one of the first things medical students are told to look for.

Or on this homeopathy website:

Nails curve around your fingertips, more convex. Caused by enlargement in connective tissue as compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. e.g. severe emphysema. Lung disease is present in 80 percent of people who have clubbed fingers.

If only I knew…… ignorance is not always a good thing. And no doctor has ever examined my nails.




Firstly I would like to advise against the ostrich head-in-the-sand attitude. If you cough up blood or in any way suspect a lung problem, rather go for tests, no matter the time or cost. I waited too long.  I knew nothing of cancer and didn’t know that lung cancer spreads to the brain and that it spreads fast.  Had I known I would have made different choices. But as my mantra says, let the past remain the past.

As I explained in the History section of the blog, I agreed to come in for tests because I could feel my brain shutting down.  Well, of how much I was actually aware, I don’t know.  I just felt sleepy and drugged, almost hung over.

I don’t remember much after admission or what sort of tests I all had, but I do recall lying on a bed in the radiology department with my shoulders exposed and a doctor running up and down inserting things in my back.  It wasn’t painful at all.  I felt like I was being operated on by aliens LOL. It was so surreal. I presume they stuck tiny needles into my lungs to extract fluid with which to do the biopsies.

I was sent home with a heavy dose of cortisone after 2 days. Treatment was to begin the following week.