Do you have skin on your feet? Of course you do! What are you doing to protect it from cancer? Ah, not so sure about that? Well, all of us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center want to remind you that your feet are just as susceptible to the ravages of skin cancer as the rest of your body.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and there are a number of things to be aware of when it comes to protecting yourself from this serious (sometimes deadly) disease.
3 main types of skin cancer
The three types of cancer you’re most likely to get on your feet or ankles are:
- Basal cell carcinoma - a type of skin cancer that grows very slowly and usually is confined to one spot. It may appear on the foot as a sore that’s slow to heal or patches of oozing skin.
- Squamous cell carcinoma - this is the most common type of cancer to be found on the feet. Squamous cell has the potential to spread to other parts of the body if it’s not caught early. Patients should be on the lookout for any sort of suspicious lesion, as squamous cell carcinoma is good at masquerading as things like calluses, ulcers, or warts.
- Melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma can appear anywhere on the feet, even under a toenail. Watch out for discolored spots - black, brown, red, white, or even blue.
Early detection is key
The most important point we want our patients throughout Monmouth County to take home today is this: Skin cancer of all types is more easily treated when detected in its early stages.
Early detection begins at home with regular skin checks, including your feet. Get to know the terrain of your skin so that if anything suspicious crops up, you’ll find it. What’s suspicious? Any kind of new spot that’s raised or discolored, any kind of wound that doesn’t heal, or changes to existing spots or moles.
Early detection continues at the doctor’s office, whether here at our Howell or Jackson, New Jersey podiatry offices or at your primary care physician. Report anything unusual or suspicious to us by making an appointment online or calling us (732) 905-1110. Our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, and Dr. Joseph Saka are your partners in keeping your feet healthy, and that includes keeping them free from skin cancer.