The UK grandmother was a bit dramatic for thinking she needed to see a doctor about her “clubbed nail,” but she was lucky she got help quickly.
When Jean Williams Taylor, who was 53 years old, put a picture of her nail on Facebook in 2018, she had no idea it would cause her to have a lot of medical tests and that she would find out she had cancer.
Taylor had worked in a factory for many years and remembered her mother’s nails were curved too. She thought her mother must have had very hard-working hands, or maybe it was just something she was born with.
After she changed jobs from a factory to an office, her nails began to grow longer, making them look strange. She decided to post a picture of them online to ask for advice.
Her friends and followers encouraged her to get medical help, which she thought was too much. Even so, she went to a doctor in the UK, where she lives. It was a wise decision.
Stephanie Taylor, who was 31 at the time, did enough research online to make her mom realize that they should see a doctor. She felt embarrassed making an appointment about something as insignificant as an “ugly” fingernail, but now she knows that a curved nail can actually be an indication of lung cancer.
If you notice that your nails are curved or “clubbed”, don’t panic. However, it’s important to know that curved or “clubbed” nails can indicate low oxygen levels in the blood. It could also indicate an underlying health issue, such as lung or heart disease.
When Taylor’s doctors examined her nails, they immediately requested that she undergo blood work, a chest X-ray, a CT scan, and a PET scan. The results of these tests made the doctors do a lung biopsy, and that was when Taylor started to get worried.
I said to the consultant that I was afraid to get the lung biopsy. It happened too fast and I was overwhelmed. I knew that my problem was more serious than asthma or something else, I told the Manchester Evening News.
In August 2018, Taylor found out that it was likely she had lung cancer and the doctors were trying to see how much it had spread. They decided to do a biopsy to check.
At that moment, I realized it was lung cancer. My biggest concern was if it had spread anywhere else and how severe it was. Those four days waiting for the biopsy results were the worst days of my life.
Things were about to get even worse.
I took my son Aiden, Stephanie and my best friend Christine to hear my diagnosis. The doctor told us the news in a room; it was not good. He said I had lung cancer.
The devastating news was that the cancer in both of her lungs had expanded to the size of a golf ball.
She will undergo surgery on her left lung first, followed by her right lung. Afterwards, she will need to go through radiotherapy.
She was lucky – if she hadn’t asked about her nail, she might not have found out until it was too late.
She now has a good chance of living for many more years, as well as helping others recognise an important symptom of illness.
It’s a good idea to visit a doctor if you have clubbed nails to make sure everything is alright.
Taylor hopes her post will raise awareness among people with the abnormality, and alert nail technicians so they can tell their customers about it.
Taylor said that she knows a girl who is getting trained in college to do nails. The girl sent her a message asking if she could share it with her technician group since she never heard of it.
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