Many people equate the chances of getting skin cancer with excessive sun exposure. Since your feet don’t usually get much sun, you might think that you don’t have to worry about getting skin cancer on your feet. However, this is a misconception. In fact, many advanced cases of skin cancer are found on the feet because they go unnoticed until the growths have spread.
One type of melanoma (lentiginous melanoma) can grow under your toenails and on the soles of the feet. Have regular checkups with your foot doctor to help avoid these potentially deadly surprises.
Some common skin and toenail conditions that may turn out to be cancerous lesions include the following:
- Plantar warts
- Fungal toenails
- Blisters and rashes
It’s best to have all skin and nail abnormalities checked out by your foot doctor.
Some of the risk factors for developing melanoma include the following:
- Hereditary influence—If your close relatives have had skin cancer in the past, then you are more susceptible to developing the condition.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals—Toxic chemical exposure from car and power plant emissions can alter the DNA in skin cells leading to malignant melanoma and other skin cancers.
- Immune system deficiencies—Having a compromised immune system due to infections from the human papillomavirus, HIV, etc., can decrease your body’s ability to fight off precancerous cells.
In the case of aggressive melanomas, you need to be very careful since the tumors tend to be small in size, but they can grow rapidly inward, where they reach lymph and blood vessels and can spread to other parts of your body.
If you are concerned about a growth on your foot, it is time to see your podiatrist. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.