Posts for tag: skin cancer
Your feet are actually susceptible to cancer just like other parts of your body. However, since your feet don’t usually get a lot of ultraviolet light exposure, it can be surprising to find out that skin cancer on the feet and ankle occurs quite often. Cancerous growths can resemble other conditions, so always have them evaluated by your foot doctor.
Some of the most common types of skin cancer to affect the feet include the following:
- Melanoma—This is a less common form of cancer, but since it grows inward and largely out of sight, it reaches the lymph nodes and circulatory system and spreads more rapidly throughout the body.
- Basal cell carcinoma—This cancer grows very slowly and it may initially appear as a pink or white bump with a waxy coating. As the tumor gets larger, it may become covered with a bleeding crust. There is usually no pain associated with this type of cancer, but it can still be quite deadly.
- Squamous cell carcinoma—While this is a less aggressive type of tumor, it can still be deadly if not caught early enough. The squamous cells are in the upper layer of the skin, and when they are stricken by skin cancer, the appearance of a spike or horn sticking out from the skin is often evident.
Always be on the lookout for unusual swelling and abnormal (or even normal looking) growths on your feet and ankles. By bringing them to the attention of your foot specialist, you can hopefully catch any bone or skin cancer early to prevent the tumor from spreading to other parts of the body.
If you have any lesions on your feet and ankles, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Many people don’t realize that they can get skin cancer on their feet, even on the heels. Skin cancer is often associated with excess sun exposure, and some people are more susceptible to sun damage than others. Individuals with lighter skin, hair and eyes will burn more easily and may be more vulnerable to developing skin lesions and cancer. However, UV exposure is not the only factor involved in developing skin cancer, so even though your feet may rarely be exposed to the sun, you still need to check them for unusual looking lesions.
Potentially deadly skin cancers such as melanomas can have the appearance of benign conditions such as plantar warts, ulcers, blisters, and ingrown toenails, so it’s always a good idea to have these evaluated by your foot doctor for the correct diagnosis. A skin biopsy may be performed to check for skin cancer.
Two other factors that may increase your chances of getting skin cancer on your feet include:
- Poor immune system function—When your immune system is compromised by viral infections such as AIDS or the human papillomavirus (HPV), it makes it more difficult for your body to defend itself against malignant growths. Having transplant surgery may also weaken your immune system. Acral lentiginous melanoma, cancer that grows on the soles of the feet and underneath the toenails, is more likely to occur in people with compromised immune systems.
- Chemicals and other contaminants—Exposure to harsh chemicals that can cause burns. Being exposed to environmental chemicals released by industries such as refineries and power plants can damage your skin’s DNA, thereby increasing the risk of lesions and cancer developing.
If you have any worrisome growths or lesions on your feet, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!