Skin cancer is often associated with excessive exposure to ultraviolet light so many people believe they are unlikely to develop skin cancer on their feet. This is not the case. In fact, some of the most dangerous tumors start growing on the feet unnoticed. One type of cancer can grow hidden under your toenails mimicking toenail fungus, with just a slight discoloration indicating its presence. Having regularly scheduled checkups with your foot doctor is essential to catching skin cancer before it spreads.

3 kinds of skin cancer that can affect your feet and ankles include the following: 

  • Melanoma—This is often an aggressive and potentially fatal skin cancer since it can go unnoticed until severe spreading has occurred. Melanoma starts on the surface and can look like a blister or mole. It grows mostly inward and if it reaches the circulatory and lymphatic system it can quickly spread to other parts of the body. Catching the tumor early is essential, so have regular visits with your foot doctor.

  • Basal cell tumors—Basal cell cancer develops very slowly but it can become dangerous when it spreads. It can start as small white or pink bumps. Keep an eye on them and if they start to grow larger or change color, have them checked by your foot doctor to check that they are not malignant.

  • Squamous cell cancer—The squamous skin cells are in the upper layers and a tumor in these cells often takes on the appearance of a small spike or horn. It could be a harmless skin tag, but have it checked by your podiatrist to make sure.

  • When conducting your regular foot inspection at home, remember that cancerous growths can look just like warts, moles, and other skin conditions so be certain to have any skin anomalies on your feet checked out by your foot doctor. At Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists, Dr. Melissa Robitaille and Dr. Todd Newsom treat virtually all types of foot and ankle disorders including bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and heel pain. Equipped with leading-edge technologies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and laser surgery for toenail fungus, we provide specialized, compassionate service for patients in the Pooler, Georgia area of Chatham County. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort with your feet and ankles, contact us today at (912) 988-3323.


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