When you think of skin cancer, you may think of it in places that are exposed to the sun frequently such as your arms or face. However, you can get skin cancer on your feet too, even if they rarely get sun exposure. This is one reason why it's important to see a podiatrist, like at Advanced Foot Clinic, when you have a foot abnormality you are concerned about. Early detection of the cancer on your foot makes it easier to treat and cure. Here are some signs of skin cancer on your feet along with some treatments that might be suggested.
Signs Of Skin Cancer On Your Feet
The three main types of skin cancer are malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. All three can develop on your feet, but squamous cell carcinoma tends to be the most common. Each type has its own symptoms, so you want to examine your feet regularly and look for new growths or skin conditions. You may not feel any pain with foot cancer, but the area might itch. Some signs of cancer include a flaky patch of skin, scaly bumps, hard lesions that resemble callouses, pearly bumps, ulcers, or sores. Because these signs are also signs for conditions such as plantar warts or athlete's foot, you may need a trained medical professional to make a distinction between the two through an examination and biopsy.
The cancerous areas on your foot might ooze or bleed too. The cracking and bleeding may come and go and be what causes you to realize you have a condition you need to have checked out. Other times, the cancer is easy to overlook and is found when your podiatrist treats you for another foot condition. For instance, malignant melanoma often looks like a mole. Its outward appearance may not seem serious, but this type of cancer spreads through the body and is one of the more deadly if it isn't treated early.
Treatment Of Cancer On Your Feet
The first step in treatment is to identify how far the cancer has spread. Basal cell carcinoma is the least likely to spread and the easiest to treat by cutting it out. Removing the cancer involves cutting out the cancerous growth as well as some of the healthy skin that surrounds it so no cancer cells stay behind. You may also have the cancer removed with the other types of skin cancer, but you may have additional treatments too depending on if the cancer has spread. Some additional treatments that may be necessary are a biopsy on your lymph node, radiation treatments, or chemotherapy.
You may undergo imaging tests to determine if the cancer has spread to your bones or organs. Treating cancer of the foot is like treating cancer anywhere else. You might need a team of different medical professionals involved in your treatment. However, surgery on your foot brings special considerations since pain from it could interfere with your ability to walk. In addition to diagnosing your condition and offering treatment, your podiatrist can fit you with padding, lifts, and comfortable shoes if necessary and recommend assistive devices to help you stay mobile during your treatment and recovery.