When it comes to your health, the shape of your nails is not something most people would consider taking note of as an early warning sign of being seriously ill, particularly since many people’s true nails are only ever seen by their manicurist who deftly hides them under a set of gel nails.
However, as it turns out, changes in the shape of your nails can be an indicator of underlying heart or lung issues as British woman, Jean Taylor, recently found out, so you might want to rethink that addiction to shellac.
Cosmopolitan reports Taylor noticed her nails were growing in a strange shape and posted a picture to her Facebook page asking if anyone had seen nails like that. Taylor wrote in a subsequent post that a few people urged her to go to the doctor, which she thought was “a tad extreme.”
Extreme though she thought it was, Taylor wrote that she did go to the doctor and was immediately “rushed for blood test and a chest X-ray,” plus additional tests including a CT scan, PET scan, blood test, breathing test, MRI and a lung biopsy.
After two weeks of medical tests Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer.
“When your nails curve it’s often linked to heart and lung disease and its official term is ‘clubbing’,” Taylor wrote in the post, adding “Hope this post can help someone else in the early stages of cancer.”
Taylor also praised the NHS writing, “Big shout out to the NHS you have been excellent and I thank all the staff that have dealt with my diagnosis.”
According to the Cancer Research UK website, “Finger clubbing means specific changes in the shape of your fingers and fingernails. People with heart or lung problems sometimes have these changes.” It occurs in “more than three out of 10 people (35 per cent) with non-small lung cancer but only about four out of 100 people (four per cent) with small cell lung cancer.”
This article originally appeared on marie claire.