Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including the feet. Skin cancers of the feet have similar qualities. Most are painless, and often have a history of recurring cracking, bleeding and other types of wounds.
Most people associate too much sun as the main cause of skin cancer. It is actually related to viruses, exposure to chemicals, chronic inflammation, genetics, or the fact that the feet are usually not a top priority during an annual physical. Because of this a lot of different conditions, like cancer, are missed.
Types and Symptoms
Some of the most common cancers of the feet are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma is not usually found on the feet but sometimes does occur there. Usually the damage stays mainly in the skin. It may appear as pearly white bumps or patches that may ooze or crust.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer on the skin of the feet. Most types of early squamous cell carcinoma stay only on the skin and do not spread. If the cancer is advanced, it can spread to other parts of the body. It begins as a small scaly bump. Cracking and bleeding that recur is also a sign of this cancer. Sometimes it begins as a hard callus–like lesion or it may resemble a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer, or other skin conditions of the foot.
- Malignant melanoma: is one of the deadliest skin cancers. This type of skin cancer must be detected very early to ensure a patient survives it. Melanomas can occur on the skin of the feet or under toenails.
When to Visit a Podiatrist
- Color – There may be more than one color and they can be unevenly distributed.
- Diameter – The lesion is wider than a pencil eraser.
- Asymmetry – If the lesion is divided in half, the sides don’t match.
- Borders – Borders look uneven or ragged.
Cancer is a very serious disease that should not be treated lightly. Do you have symptoms of foot cancer? Have a strange looking mole or mass on your foot? It is time to visit Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, of Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, located in the nature coast area in Florida. There he will examine your feet and determine your condition and discuss a treatment plan with you. Call 727-868-2128 or make an appointment online.