The ABCD’s of Melanoma

  • Asymmetry – the lesion splits in half and the two halves don’t match.
  • Borders – the borders are uneven or ragged and not clearly defined.
  • Color – there is no color uniformity.
  • Diameter – the lesion width is more than 6 mm or the size of a pencil eraser.

If you suspect foot cancer based on any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, consult with a professional podiatrist as soon as possible.

Diagnosing Foot and Ankle Cancers

Cancers of the foot and ankle are diagnosed via detailed examination of the area. In most cases, this involves skin biopsies as well as imaging tests such as an MRI scan among other scans.

These tests can help detect if the cells are cancerous and to identify the type of cancer and the rate at which it is growing. The doctor will also inquire in length about family history of skin cancer. If foot melanoma is suspected, the patient is then referred to a dermatologist for treating melanoma. 

How Is Foot Cancer Treated?

If melanoma is detected in the early stages, surgery is usually the main treatment option. The melanoma is surgically removed, and the patient does not have to suffer through any aesthetic or functional impairment.

If the cancer returns or has spread, then treatment may involve immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

How to Reduce the Risk of Foot Melanoma?

Protect yourself from the harmful effects of UV radiation since it can increase the risk of melanoma. Try and avoid sun exposure during peak hours between 10 am – 4 pm.

If you cannot avoid the sun, then protect your skin by using sunscreen lotion on areas of the skin that are not covered by your clothing. Use wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to beat the sun’s rays.

Shoes and socks can help protect your feet. Keep in mind that even though the soles of the feet are rarely exposed to the sun, foot melanoma can appear on the soles as well. So, try and avoid going barefoot or using footwear which offers little protection against the sun’s harmful rays. 

Inspect your Feet and Ankle Regularly

  • Check the skin, nails, and the toes, including the soles of the feet for unusual appearances.
  • Check for changes in the size, shape, and appearance of moles, patches, or bumps regularly. 
  • Monitor new moles for changes in appearance.
  • If you paint your nails regularly, make it a practice to check the skin under your toenails when changing the nail polish.

If you notice any of the signs highlighted in this article pertaining to foot cancer, if you are experiencing foot and ankle pain, or if you notice other signs or symptoms that appear suspicious in any way, consult with a professional podiatrist. Let them do their job.

Don’t forget, foot cancer can be treated if it is diagnosed early.

Do You Or A Family Member Need The Help Of An Experienced Podiatrist In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're seeking the help of an experienced podiatrist you owe it to yourself to speak with our doctors as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.