skin cancer

AND YOUR FEET

SKIN CANCER & YOUR FEET Frequently Asked Questions

For generations, people have characterized Texas by its big, open skies, expansive land, and Wild West history. Pleasanton is proud of its role in this history, as you can see at the city’s Longhorn Museum.

However, all that open, sunny sky can contribute to skin cancer changes, and your feet are not immune. Checking your feet for strange lesions can go a long way in protecting yourself.

  1. Normal moles have distinct borders that mark where the spot ends and your normal skin begins.
  2. Typically they’re tan, brown, or black.
  3. Generally they’re round or oval in shape and tend to stay smaller than a quarter of an inch.
  4. They can be raised bumps or flush with the surrounding skin.

The majority of the time, moles are just benign lesions; however, they look like, and can even change into, malignant melanoma.

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, creating masses that destroy normal, healthy tissue. Some cancerous lesions are more aggressive than others, but all create some damage. Because you have skin covering your entire body, you can develop this problem anywhere. Sometimes the condition is caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun or other environmental factors, but sometimes damage occurs without an obvious cause. This is often the case for cancerous changes on your feet.

Cancer on the feet and ankles can be dangerous. Because many people don’t take the time to inspect their lower limbs, lesions can easily go unnoticed and grow. This can allow the malignant tumor to spread and become serious. The more the condition progresses, the harder it will be to treat the problem. Periodically checking your feet for changes is the key to catching it early.

There are three main types of skin cancer that affect the feet:

basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the least aggressive of the three, and isn’t usually found on the feet. It causes local damage, but rarely spreads. Typically lesions appear to be white bumps or patches that can ooze or crust. They may even look like a benign ulcer.

squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common of the skin cancers found on the feet. The condition starts slow and localized, but as the tumor progresses, it can become more aggressive and metastasize to surrounding tissues.

These lesions usually appear to be small, scaly plaques or inflamed bumps. The spot is usually painless, but it may itch, crack, and bleed. Often the lesion looks like a wart of even a fungal infection.

malignant melanoma

Malignant melanoma is the rarest and most dangerous of all the skin cancers. It is highly aggressive and can spread quickly, making it difficult to treat unless it’s caught early.

Usually these tumors are painless and look like moles or freckles. Sometimes they develop underneath a nail.

Melanoma does have a few distinctive traits, called its “ABCDs:”

Asymmetry – The tumor has an unusual, uneven shape so that one half is not the same as the other.

Borders – The borders around the spot appear blurry, ragged, or otherwise uneven.

Color – The patch has multiple colors, potentially including black, brown, tan, red, or pink.

Diameter – The lesion is more than six millimeters wide, or roughly bigger than a pencil eraser.

A tumor may have any one or all of these markers. Moles that present these symptoms, or that suddenly change or grow, need to be investigated right away.

Skin cancer can be particularly dangerous on your feet, since most people don’t notice it there until it’s too late.

Fortunately, you can do something about cancer—even melanoma—if you catch it early enough. You just have to know the signs and symptoms to tell apart a regular mole from cancerous one.

Take the next step toward happy & healthy feet and contact us today!

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skin cancer & your feet

treatment options

If you notice something odd don't wait to let us take care of you.

WHAT TO
LOOK FOR:

This dangerous cancer has a few tell-tale signs that can help identify it, though.

Checking your feet every day for these changes can help you get diagnosed and treated before the problem metastasizes and becomes deadly:

01

ASSYMETRY

The shape of the lesion is abnormal, with one side that looks very different from the other.

02

BORDERS

The borders that separate the patch from normal skin are irregular. They may appear blurry, notched, ragged, or otherwise uneven.

03

COLOR CHANGES

Frequently a melanoma spot features multiple uneven colors smashed together. These can include black, brown, tan, red, or even pink.

04

DIAMETER

Malignant spots grow, so the lesion may be more than six millimeters in diameter.

Any mole that seems to change from a regular bump to a large or unusually shaped one has a high risk for cancer.

The key really is, then, to

check your feet often for these changes.

ELIMINATING
THE ABNORMAL GROWTH

The key to eliminating skin cancer on your feet or ankles is to catch the problem early and begin prompt treatment. This will mean checking your feet regularly for changes.

skin cancer on your feet

& surgery

Dr. Darren Silvester and the Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic staff will examine any unusual spots. 

We may need to take a skin biopsy confirm the diagnosis. Once we have identified possible cancerous lesions and their types, we will begin treatment to heal your feet.

Most likely the malignant patch will need to be surgically cut away. This will prevent the tumor from spreading.

Once the spot is removed, you may need additional treatment to keep the cells from re-growing. This will depend on the type of tumor you have, as well as the severity of the condition.

Don't risk the consequences!

Skin cancer is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. Leaving it alone can cause significant damage to your lower limbs. Check your skin regularly and let Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic help you treat any problems that arise. 

Take the next step
to happy feet!

Click the links to request your appointment or learn more about what Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic can do for you.

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