Skin cancer can develop in any place of the body—including the feet. Having skin cancer on the feet is dangerous since it often goes undetected due to the location.
There are three types of skin cancers that can occur on the feet: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer on the feet and malignant melanoma is the most serious. Doing self-checks of the feet is important so you can find the cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
Signs of Skin Cancer on the Feet
Recognizing the signs of skin cancer can help with detection. Skin cancer often looks like a mole that changes in shape or color. It can also look like the following:
- Pink or red color spot or growth
- New growth in the area of a foot injury that was not present prior
- Vertical line under the toenail that is black or brown
- Sore on the foot that does not heal or that heals and returns
- Mass on the foot that grows rapidly
In addition, skin cancer on the feet can be painful, itchy, and cause bleeding that stops and restarts.
Diagnosing and Treating Skin Cancer
If you notice any signs of skin cancer or sudden changes to the skin on your feet, consult with a podiatrist for an evaluation. To diagnose skin cancer, a podiatrist will carefully exam the feet. To determine if a suspicious spot is cancerous or not, a skin biopsy may be done and the tissue will be sent to a lab for further evaluation. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment options will be discussed.
Treating skin cancer on the feet is most successful when done early. There are a variety of treatments used for skin cancer, with the most common being excision where the skin cancer and surrounding tissue are surgically removed. In addition, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation may be needed if the cancer has spread or is more advanced.
Doing self-checks of your feet is essential for detecting skin cancer and preventing it from spreading. When checking your feet, pay special attention to any areas that have been previously injured. Be sure to check all areas of your feet—even in-between your toes.
Time to See a Podiatrist
If you notice unusual changes on the skin of your feet or have signs of skin cancer, contact Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry for help. We offer a free initial consultation and can recommend treatments for your specific needs. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form online or call our office at 301-515-FEET.