Your Feet are Susceptible to Cancer Too
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to discuss all the ways that skin cancer can affect our feet and find out the best ways to check yourself. Feet are often not the first areas that come to mind when we think about how cancer affects our bodies, but they are still susceptible to malignant melanoma and other types of skin cancer.
Types of skin cancer of the feet.
The three most common types of skin cancer on the feet are:
- Basal cell carcinoma – typically found on sun-exposed surfaces. Not as common on the feet, but still possible.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – the most common form of skin cancer on the feet.
- Malignant melanoma – one of the deadliest skin cancers known. Must be detected early!
How to check for skin cancer of the feet
Don’t leave your feet out of regular checks. Some doctors have pointed to a genetic disposition for certain types of skin cancers, so if anyone in your family has had melanoma or any other types, make regular checks a part of your routine. As you’re checking your body, examine your feet as well. Melanoma often occurs on the soles, so check there as well. Even in-between your toes is a necessary place to check. What are you looking for? A growth, spot, bump, scaly patch, new or changed mole or freckle, basically any disruption of the skin. If you find something, follow the A, B, C, D, E method to evaluate it.
· Asymmetry – it doesn’t form a perfect circle, or one side is a little “off.”
· Borders – jagged or uneven edges.
· Color – colors have changed over time, or there are different colors within the growth.
· Diameter – measure it. If it’s over 6mm, get it checked out.
· Evolution – if anything on the growth has changed, get it looked at.
If you have a growth or any suspicious, contact us here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, can utilize state-of-the-art technology to diagnose any abnormal growths or changes to diagnose cancer and steer you towards treatment if necessary. Our conveniently located office in Westfield is open Monday through Friday. Head to our website or give us a call to schedule an appointment today.