Cancerous growths can be caused by chemical exposure, viruses, and UV light exposure and may be triggered by disease and inflammation. Since skin cancers on the feet and ankles can resemble and be mistaken for other skin conditions such as warts, eczema, and fungal or bacterial problems, be sure to have regular visits with your foot doctor to get the correct diagnosis.
Your foot doctor will be able to quickly identify suspicious-looking growths and a biopsy will be needed to confirm a possible cancer diagnosis.
Among the malignant skin growths that can affect your feet are the following:
- Malignant melanoma—This uncontrolled cell growth starts in the melanin forming on the pigment of your skin, but the cancerous cells grow inward and when they reach the blood vessels and lymph nodes spreading to other parts of the body can occur (metastasis). Since melanoma often grows in hidden areas of the feet between the toes, on the heel, and even underneath the toenails, it’s important to check your feet at least once a month for any skin and toenail discolorations and other skin abnormalities.
- Basal cell carcinoma—This type of cancer can look very similar to other skin lesions and wounds. It tends to grow slowly, but can become aggressive if left untreated. Exposure to ultraviolet light is a main cause of basal cell growths, so they occur less frequently on the feet than other areas.
It’s always a good idea to have any skin conditions — suspicious looking or not — evaluated by your foot doctor to rule out cancer. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.