World cancer day is held on February 4th of every year to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Many people are completely unaware that they can get cancer on their feet. However, several cancers may affect your feet. Types of skin cancer like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma can occur in the toes or feet so it’s important to be educated.
CANCER AND GROWTHS
Just like any other part of your body, the skin and bones of your foot are subject to a variety of cancers and growths. Here are some of the more common types of cancer than can affect the feet:
GIANT CELL TUMORS
Giant cell tumors are benign, firm, irregular masses that form on the toes, top or side of the foot, or deep inside the foot. They often will cause pain as they slowly grow larger over time. Thankfully, these are pretty rare and usually benign.
Osteochondromas occur underneath the toenail when benign bone tumors form in that area, often after injury. Usually, they’re not painful although they can cause some irritation. Sometimes osteochondromas can deform the toenail and cause it to become ingrown, at which time they can be surgically removed. This condition may reoccur.
Malignant melanoma is more commonly referred to as skin cancer. Since the feet are usually covered up when cancer screening is performed the feet are overlooked. This is why foot self-exam is so important. Skin cancer can be caused by exposure to the sun, exposure to harsh chemicals, or having a history of skin cancer, either in your history or your family history. If you notice any spots, growths, or discolorations they should be immediately checked by a doctor.
As always, if you do find an issue or are experiencing any pain or discomfort, contact a specialist right away.
Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Riane Teagarden, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips and expert advice. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.