Can My Feet Get Cancer?

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It can be disconcerting to find a new spot or growth on your skin. Growths such as moles are quite common and typically harmless, but sometimes can be signs of skin cancer. Pain or discomfort in your feet is easy to write off after a long day, but it too can be a sign of cancer. Cancer is a horrible disease that hundreds of thousands of people die from each year. It can affect almost every part of your body, including your skins and bones in your feet. A melanoma that started as a dark spot on his toenail even took the life of Bob Marley! Some cancers are benign, and some are malignant, but it’s important to stay vigilant and treat them all as serious issues as they can be tough to distinguish in early stages. 

Here are some of the cancers that may be found on or in your feet:

Malignant Melanoma. This is one of the deadliest, most aggressive types of skin cancer known. Typically, we wear shoes and socks whenever we go out, so it’s easy to forget the sunscreen on our feet at the beach or pool. The sun’s rays are a common cause of skin cancer, but there are more. If you notice a growth on your feet, or if you have a mole that changes size, shape, or color, it needs to be checked out by a podiatrist immediately. Malignant melanomas must be detected early for the best chance of survival. Typically they are removed surgically.

Plantar fibromas. Plantar fibromas grow on the long tendon that runs the length of the bottom of your foot, known as your plantar fascia. Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove these tumorous growths.

Osteochondromas. Benign bone tumors, called osteochondromas, occasionally form after an injury to the toe. These are typically painless but can be irritating or cause toenail deformations. It’s rare, but sometimes they become malignant.

Giant cell tumors. Giant cell tumors are uncommon benign growths inside the toes, on the top or side of the foot, or deep in the foot itself. They are firm to the touch and can become painful as they progress.

Many of these growths can be detected with regular self-exams. Melanomas, for example, are easy to detect if you get to know the moles or spots that already exist on your feet. Others, like giant cell tumors, might only make themselves known through waves of discomfort or pain. Here at Bay Podiatry Associates, our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Argiros Mantzoukas can utilize state-of-the-art technology to diagnose any abnormal growths or changes beneath the superficial surface.  If you have a growth or are noticing pain in your feet or ankles, give us a call today at (718) 266-1986.