Skin cancer is often associated with sun or UV light exposure from tanning beds, but since our feet don’t normally get a lot of sun it is surprising to know that skin cancer does often affect the feet and since it can easily go unnoticed the results can be quite deadly. Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to prevent spreading. Cancerous lesions can look very similar to warts, moles, and other skin conditions, so make sure to have any skin problems checked by your foot doctor to see if a biopsy is necessary.
3 types of cancer that can occur on your feet include the following:
- Kaposi’s sarcoma—This cancer shows up as purple, red, or brown lesions on the surface of the skin. These tumors don’t always cause pain, but they are aggressive and can quickly spread to other areas, particularly the bowels and lungs, so be sure to have any lesions inspected by your foot doctor.
- Malignant melanoma—This cancer can be so extremely invasive and difficult to treat that it results in the majority of skin cancer deaths. The tumors grow inward rather than on the surface, and when they reach the lymphatic system and circulatory system, cancer can rapidly spread throughout the body.
- Squamous cell carcinoma—This cancer isn’t as hard to detect or treat as melanoma. It starts in the upper epidermal cells and can first appear like a stiff, pink, or white lump with a crusty, rough surface. A spike-like horn is sometimes visible.
Always check for abnormal looking growths on the skin of your feet and ankles and keep in mind that cancer can mimic other skin conditions as well. Make an appointment with your foot specialist for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.