Cancer can develop in your feet just as in other parts of the body. Now that summer is here, it’s a good time to remind our patients to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of their feet with the same frequency that you do the rest of your body when you are out in the sun. This will go a long way toward helping prevent skin cancer on your feet. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, makes up only 1% of skin cancers yet accounts for over 60% of skin cancer deaths. It is curable if caught early but on the feet it often progresses to a late stage because patients don’t spot it early on. At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we want to stress the importance of checking your feet regularly and reporting any changes or unusual symptoms to our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, DPM, Brian D. Tedesco, DPM, Carl Conui, DPM, and Kimberly Thurmond, DPM without delay.
Other types of cancers and tumors found in the foot include:
Osteochondromas—these are benign tumors found under the toenail and they make up approximately half of all benign bone tumors found in the foot. Typically, Osteochondromas are not painful and do not need to be removed, although they can deform the nail or cause an ingrown nail. They develop most often in children and young adults.
Neoplastic Disorders—tumors which form from abnormal tissue growth, these can be benign or malignant.
Giant Cell Tumors—although they sound scary, this type of tumor is benign but, because it grows in the tendon sheaths it can be very painful. Giant cell tumors may develop on the top or sides of the foot or on the toes.
Plantar Fibroma—this benign tumor grows deep inside the bottom of the foot on the fibrous band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which runs from your heel to your toes. Depending on the size of the tumor and amount of discomfort it is causing, it may be treated conservatively with custom orthotics and other measures. If these do not work, the foot doctor may recommend surgically removing the fibroma.
It’s always better to be over cautious when it comes to lumps in your feet or unusual changes in the skin. If you have any concerns about anything you have found on your toes or feet, please contact our Reading office for an appointment.