Everyone knows that cancer is serious business. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware that you can identify signs of the condition on your feet. When it comes to foot melanoma, it is important to know how to recognize the condition so you can seek treatment at the earliest possible stage.
It can be helpful to understand what happens with this disease. Melanin is a naturally-occurring pigment that influences skin color and assists in filtering out harmful ultraviolet light. It is produced by skin cells that are known as melanocytes, which are found in the uppermost layer of the skin (epidermis). Melanoma is a rare, but quite serious, form of cancer that develops in concealed and neglected areas of skin, like down in your feet.
A major concern for cancer of any type is that the disease can become more difficult to cure in later stages. As such, early detection is essential for providing the best odds of successful treatment. This can be especially problematic when it comes to the feet. These valuable appendages are often covered, and even when not are simply less visible because they are the body parts farthest from the eyes.
There are certain situations—having diabetes, advanced age—where we recommend foot inspections on a regular basis, but it is still a good idea for everyone to keep a pulse on the health of their feet, and detecting foot cancer is a great example as to why that it is important. Make sure to schedule an appointment with us as soon as you observe any spots that fall into the ABCDE categories:
- Borders that are uneven, notched, or scalloped
- Colored with a variety of shades
- Diameter of greater than 5mm (size of pencil-tip eraser)
- Evolve by changing in shape, size, color, elevation, or any other trait