When you think “cancer” you don’t usually think about your feet but the skin and bones of the feet are susceptible to cancers and growths just like the rest of your body. Unfortunately, the most common kind of cancer to afflict the foot is also the most serious: melanoma. This aggressive form of cancer most often results from sun exposure although there are other risk factors including chemical or radiation exposure and a family history of skin cancer.
Other cancers that are seen in the feet are:
Giant Cell Tumors: Much less common than melanomas and generally benign, these masses develop on the toes, side or top of the foot or deep in the foot. They can be quite painful as they grow. Tumors that grow on the bottom of the foot are known as plantar fibromas and these too are usually benign.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma: A telltale sign of this type of cancer are the purple, red or brown lesions that form on the skin because of abnormal tissue growth going on underneath the skin. It may or may not be painful but it can wreak havoc on your body if it spreads to your lungs, digestive tract or other major body systems.
What Can You Do?
The easiest and most important step we at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle urge our patients to take is applying sunscreen to your feet when they are going to be exposed to the sun. This means not only when you’re out sunning yourself but even a day of shopping or errands if you are wearing open sandals warrants sunscreen application. At the beach or pool, be sure to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet.
Early detection and treatment is key to successfully eliminating cancer from the body. Check your feet for suspicious looking moles or discolored spots. Also monitor existing moles or freckles to notice if they change in shape, size or appearance. If you do notice changes or new spots, make an appointment at either our Edmond or Norman office as soon as possible. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. A. Bil Buksh will be able to evaluate your skin condition and help determine what the cause is and the appropriate treatment.
Many cancers of the feet can be prevented if caught early on. If you have any concerns about what you see on your feet, contact our office immediately by calling: (405) 285-7408.