Fifty-three-year-old Jean Williams Taylor thought her nails were just ugly, but after posting a photo of them to social media and asking if anyone had ever seen such nails before, her daughter urged her to visit a doctor. The grandmother from Wigan said she felt “ridiculous” going to the doctor over a nail, but a hunch told her to listen to the advice.
As reported by the Daily Mail, doing so ultimately saved her life.
The doctor she made an appointment with immediately recognized her clubbed nails as a symptom of lung cancer, and sent her for a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Scans showed two golf ball-sized tumors on both of her lungs. Fortunately, because the clubbed nail was an early symptom of the disease, Williams Taylor’s lung cancer was diagnosed in stage one, making it a rare find and curable.
More often than not, lung cancer is only discovered in stage four, and by that time is usually a death sentence. Because of her nail, Williams Taylor was given a very good prognosis despite having lung cancer.
According to Williams Taylor, she personally had thought nothing of her nails, as her mother — who incidentally had to have half a lung removed because of cancer — also had clubbed nails.
Williams Taylor’s daughter, Stephanie, had researched her mother’s clubbed nails before insisting she visit a doctor with fears that she may have lung cancer. Following the diagnosis, Williams Taylor shared just what her nails meant to her.
“These nails are my life savers and I’m not cutting them off. I’d been working in a factory so my nails were really short. I got an office job about six weeks ago and they decided to grow. I’ve always had weak nails and I’ve never got them to this length because they were never strong and I was working in a factory.”
Williams Taylor added that she had only gone to the doctor to put her daughter’s mind at ease following her research, and had never expected to come home with a cancer diagnosis from it. After hearing she had cancer, she made an appointment with a nail technician to paint her nails in bright glitter, despite her daughter calling them “ugly” after the fresh coat of paint.
“They’re gonna grow, and if I have to put silver bells and fireworks on the end of them to raise awareness, I will,” she explained.
Her Facebook post went viral, and she hopes that it will raise awareness of the unexpected symptom that ultimately saved her life.