Check Your Feet for Skin Cancer
While skin cancer often occurs in areas of the body that are more often exposed to the sun such as the hands, face, and neck, be sure to check your feet and ankles for signs of skin cancer as well. Skin cancer can be linked to chemical irritants, viruses, and chronic inflammation.
Skin cancers of the feet can look like other foot abnormalities and conditions including warts, eczema, and common fungal or bacterial infections, so it is important to have your foot care specialist take a look at anything suspicious.
Three of the skin cancers that may strike your feet include:
Basal cell carcinoma—This cancer is less common on the feet since it is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays. These can take on the appearance of benign ulcers and tumors. Although considered one of the least aggressive of skin cancers, it is still important to have any lesions, bumps, or recurring wounds inspected by your foot doctor.
Squamous cell carcinoma—This is the type of skin cancer that can often resemble a plantar wart or other common conditions including eczema and athlete’s foot fungus. This type of cancer doesn’t spread unless it has reached an advanced stage, and it is usually painless but may itch.
Malignant melanoma—This is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer since it has a tendency to grow inward, deeper into the skin and surrounding tissue where it can spread to other parts of the body through the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Melanomas can occur on the soles of the feet and underneath the toenails. They can appear as bruises, warts, moles, ulcers, and blood blisters.
Since cancers of the feet and ankles may appear like other foot abnormalities, it’s very important to have an exam done by your foot care professional. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.