Treatment for Skin Cancer of the Feet
Skin cancers that exist on the lower legs and feet have a very different appearance than those that form on any other parts of the body, which makes early detection far more difficult. This is why people who suspect that they have foot cancer in the Cincinnati area are recommended to make an appointment with a clinically trained and experienced podiatrist like Dr. Titko.
Our Cincinnati podiatrists are uniquely trained to detect abnormalities that exist on the lower extremities, which includes both benign and malignant skin tumors.
Common Attributes of Cancerous Lesions
If you notice a lesion on the leg or foot, check it against the ABCDs of Melanoma.
Asymmetry: If you were to fold the lesion in half, would the sides match up?
Borders: Will appear uneven, ragged and scalloped.
Color: Some have more than one color and colors that do exist may appear unevenly distributed.
Diameter: If they are wider than a pencil eraser, it’s time to see a podiatric physician.
Other signs of foot cancer or toe melanoma include sores and ulcers that won’t heal, bumps that crack or bleed, nodules and scaly areas. A mole, bump or patch of skin that looks odd is nothing to ignore. Your podiatrist will conduct a full examination to ensure that the tumor is in fact skin cancer, and this examination may include a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy is a common foot cancer detection procedure where the Cincinnati podiatrist will obtain a sample of the skin lesion in order to send it to a laboratory for further examination. The lesion will be sent to experts with specialized training in the analysis of skin lesions that exist on the lower legs and feet. If the lesion sample is determined to be cancerous, or malignant, your podiatrist will recommend a proper course of action for your foot cancer.
What Causes Skin Cancer of the Feet?
Unlike most other forms of skin cancer that result as an overexposure to sunlight, foot cancers are more often caused by viruses, chemical reactions, inflammation and constant irritation. Some people are genetically predisposed to the disease. No matter the cause and since feet are most commonly skipped during routine medical examinations, it is important that you check your feet regularly for abnormalities that might indicate one or more of the most common types of foot cancer listed below and contact a Cincinnati podiatrist if you detect anything.
Skin Cancer of the Foot – The Most Common Types
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Considered one of the least aggressive cancers, basal cell carcinoma is typically seen on sun-exposed areas of the body. If your feet rarely see the light of day, you probably won’t see basal cell cancers on your feet. If you do see a pearly white bump or patches of bumps that ooze or crust just like open sores, you might have basal cell cancer. Since they often resemble non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers, a proper examination by a Cincinnati podiatrist is recommended.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The most common form of skin cancer that affects the feet is the squamous cell carcinoma. Most types of early squamous cell carcinoma remain on the skin and do not spread, although some forms can become aggressive. Cancerous lesions of this type may look like plantar warts, fungal infections, eczema or the beginnings of calluses. In some cases there is a history of the area cracking or bleeding. Squamous cell carcinoma is more often than not painless foot cancer, but it’s not to be ignored. See a podiatric physical immediately if you suspect that you have this disorder.
Considered one of the deadliest skin cancers that can develop on the human body, this type of skin cancer must be detected early to ensure your survival. Nonsurgical treatments rarely work for this type of cancer and many of the treatments that do exist are still in their experimental stages. You may see these melanomas form on the skin of your feet (top and bottom) and occasionally beneath one of your toenails. If allowed to grow, this type of foot cancer or toenail melanoma can become more serious as it spreads throughout your body.
Malignant melanoma is known as ‘The Great Masquerader’ due to its ability to resemble benign plantar warts, moles, ingrown nails, blood blisters or ulcers caused by poor circulation. They even resemble bruises in some cases.
If you suspect that you have melanoma or foot cancer in the Cincinnati area, call The Center for Foot Care to schedule an appointment at (513) 206 – 8448.