Cancers affecting the foot are more common than people think. While some take the form of cysts and lesions, others are more widespread, and skin cancer is one of the most prevalent kinds. Malignant melanoma, a skin cancer that is curable when caught early, is responsible for over 60 percent of skin cancer deaths, and approximately 30 percent of melanomas occur in the lower extremities, including the feet and ankles.
Foot cancer can be incredibly dangerous, and it’s important to take precautions to prevent it. Some things to look out for include moles that change in size, shape, or color, sores that do not heal, or growths on the skin that appear pearly, translucent, or multi-colored. Patients experiencing these symptoms should consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
Treatment for foot cancer is typically the same as treatment for skin cancer in any other part of the body. The affected area will be removed with a surgical procedure, and the patient will be closely monitored afterward to ensure that the cancer does not return.
However, foot cancer can be difficult to detect early on because it can occur on the sole of the foot or between the toes where regular checks aren’t always feasible. That is why it’s important to have a doctor’s opinion if you experience anything unusual or painful.
In addition to malignant melanoma, there are several other neoplastic disorders, also known as tumors, that can occur in the foot. These can be either benign or malignant.
Osteochondromas are benign bone tumors that can occur beneath the toenail. They are prevalent among children and young adults and cause very little pain unless they begin to irritate the surrounding tissue. In such cases, they may need to be removed surgically.
Plantar fibromas are benign tumors that grow on the bottom surface of the foot. While upright, these growths are on a thick, fibrous band called the plantar fascia, so they’re incurable with medication. Nonsurgical methods, such as wearing orthotics, are usually good treatments for reducing symptoms. If these fail, surgical treatment may be required.
Giant cell tumors are benign tumors of the tendon sheath that can occur on the toes, the top or sides of the foot, or deep inside the foot. They’re usually firm and irregular in shape and can be very painful. Surgical removal is recommended in many cases.
In conclusion, it’s essential to take skin cancer seriously, particularly if you have a family history or have previously had an incidence of cancer. By catching the disease early, doctors can use effective treatment options to beat the condition. If you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms or pain in your feet and ankles, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM or another foot and ankle specialist to seek professional medical assistance.