Clubbing in the fingers of a 33-year old female with pulmonary hypertension.
Clubbing in the fingers of a 33-year old female with pulmonary hypertension.

Nail clubbing is found in 29% of lung cancer patients!

‘Fingernail clubbing’ is one of most well-know indicators for recognizing cancer in the hand. A.k.a. ‘Hippocratic nail’ this nail characteristic been known since the early days of the Greek philosopher Hippocrates, who recognized nail clubbing as a classic sign of disease.

Today ‘nail clubbing’ is associated various lung diseases, especially lung cancer with non–small cell lung carcinoma. Nail clubbing is also linked with heart problems and gastrointestinal problems – but these are less common than lung problems.

Statistics on nail 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 ‘clubbing fingernails’?

Clubbing is usually a painless but complex fingernail disorder which often goes unnoticed of it’s presence in the hands of patients!

In individuals without clubbing, if two opposing fingers are placed together, a diamond-shaped window will appear. In clubbing, this window is obliterated and the distal angle formed by the two nails becomes wider. This is known as Schamroth sign window test.

Schamroth's windows test is used in the diagnosis of nail clubbing.

NOTICE: Cases of ‘brachydactyly’ should NOT be associated with the medical problems related to ‘nail clubbing’; the ‘clubbed thumb’ is likely the most well-known variant of ‘brachydactyly’ – which is e.g. seen in the hands of the american actress Megan Fox

Actress Megan Fox has a ‘clubbed thumb’ – which should not be confused with ‘nail clubbing’.
American actress Megan Fox has a 'clubbed thumb' - which should NOT be associated with 'nail clubbing'.

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

Nail clubbing: developments, treatment & prevention!
Hands on lung cancer: the clubbing fingernail!
Fingernail disorders & medical hand analysis!
Overview of more common nail disorders!
Megan Fox has a ‘clubbed thumb’ – not to be confused with ‘fingernail clubbing’!!

Missing fingerprints can have various causes: the 'hand-foot syndrome' + genetic disorders.

Missing fingerprints can have various causes: the hand-foot syndrome + genetic disorders.

No fingerprints: about the ‘hand-foot syndrome’ and genetic disorders’

What if a person has no fingerprints? Likely there are 2 options: (1) the person was born without fingerprints (due to a genetic disorders), or (2) the person has ‘lost’ his/her fingerprints during a chemotherapy (in a cancer treatment) – a missing fingerprint is often featured with the ‘hand-foot syndrome’.

By the way, having no fingerprints used to be no big deal. But the situation is changing rapidly due to the evolving applications of biometric fingerprint readers. In many countries fingerprints are required to: pass the nation’s border, and to get a drivers licence and/or passport!

TWO ANECDOTES FROM THE PAST FEW YEARS:

“Last month (april, 2009) a Singapore-based medical oncologist reported a letter that was presented online in the journal ‘Annals of Oncology’, titled: Travel warning with capecitabine. The trade name fot the cancer medicine capecitabine is ‘Xeloda’ – a medicine that is often prescribed in patients with breast cancer and colorectal cancer. But the oncologist’s patient had been using the drug to treat his nasopharyngeal cancer.

Two years ago, Spanish cancer doctors reported a likewise story about the 39-year-old flight attendant Cheryl Maynard detained for several hours at a U.S. airport until her doctor faxed an explanation that the capecitabine she’d been taking for breast cancer had erased her fingerprints.”

Source:
Why a cancer patient may have no fingerprints: THE HAND-FOOT SYNDROME!

MORE FASCINATING ‘FINGER’ STORIES:

Fingerprints in the news!
Can palm reading pick up ovarian cancer?
Raynaud’s syndrome – another painful hand disorder
Paraesthesia: feels like having pins and needles in the fingers

Fingerprints reveal identity, drugs & lifestyle.

Fingerprints reveal identity, drugs & lifestyle

Fingerprints reveal identity, drugs & lifestyle

In the near future a careless touch might be enough for police or insurance companies to determine your identity, your criminal history and certain medical conditions. This article about fingerprint technology explains the details!

Drugs aren’t the only chemicals the new tests could detect. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions produce specific chemicals also secreted in sweat and oil.

By tweaking the antibodies on the particles, forensic scientists could test for a variety of medical conditions. This could help police track down a suspect by, say, watching the local kidney dialysis clinic if the suspect has kidney failure.The new fingerprint analysis doesn’t only monitor the body’s internal environment – it also reveals external information. If a person fires a gun or has handled explosive material, trace amounts of those chemicals are left on the hand, which can then be detected if the person leaves a fingerprint.

Fingerprints.

READ FURTHER ABOUT FINGERPRINTS:
Fingerprints in the news
How fingerprinting works
Dermatoglyphics: a review
Richard Unger reads fingerprints

Palmar fascia lies under the skin.

Palmar fascia lies under the skin.

Lumpy areas on the palm can signal cancer.

Lumpy areas on the palm can signal cancer.

Palm reading: a diagnostic tool for cancer

Medical experts say that spotting ovarian cancer – widely known as the “silent killer” – is extremely difficult because the symptoms are usually vague and often go unnoticed. However, only recently the medical experts at the Royal Free Hospital in London diagnosed a case of ovarian cancer in a 74-year-old woman, after she presented her palms featured with thickened skin.

Four months before she had noticed lumpy areas on her palms which then progressed to general thickening – but she was otherwise healthy and had no other symptoms.

In the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the expert team said they suspected the condition known as palmar fasciitis, which could be linked to cancer. And indeed they found an ovarian mass, a phenomenon known as a ‘paraneoplastic syndrome’ – which is characterized by symptoms that occur because of a cancer, but the symptoms are not directly related to cancer cells present in that area of the body. Other manifestations include types of arthritis or nerve problems. After this early diagnosis the medical experts were able to treat the patient successfully with chemotherapy.

FULL ARTICLE:
Can palm reading pick up cancer

Related resources:
Palm Reading goes medical
Dermatoglyphics and gastric cancer
The basics of palmistry