Submitted by Dr. Smith, P.C.
How often do you look at your feet and toes? When was the last time you scanned your soles for unusual spots, sores, scaly patches, or growths? If you are not in the habit of inspecting your feet, there’s a very good reason to start performing a quick monthly foot check for cancer prevention.
“Several types of cancer can occur on the feet, and a foot check can help identify it and other foot problems before they get out of control,” says Dr. Kevin D. Smith, DPM, who has a podiatry practice in Moline. The signs of cancer found on feet can vary from the black spots indicative of skin cancer to tumorous growths.
“A doctor should examine any unusual growths or spots you find, even if they don’t hurt or bleed,” he says. “Your doctor or podiatrist can determine if a biopsy of the tissue is necessary. It’s possible for precancerous tissue to be removed before it becomes malignant.”
Types of Cancer
Some cancers related to feet are very rare. Kaposi’s sarcoma can occur in European, Mediterranean, or Jewish men, and verrucous carcinoma is associated with plantar warts.
Skin cancer on the foot has become more common. While Dr. Smith recommends the use of sunscreen on your feet and on any other exposed skin, he points out that skin cancer is not always associated with sun exposure. It can also run in your family.
“When performing your foot check, look for discolored and asymmetrical skin, moles, or bumps and note any new or rapidly changing spots or growths,” says Dr. Smith. “Sores that bleed and don’t heal should be examined by a physician as soon as possible.”
A simple foot check, performed once a month, could help you identify cancer — and other problems with your feet, toes, and toenails — early. Make it a part of your self-care routine today!
For ingrown toenails, nail fungus, and hard nail trimming, see Dr. Smith. Call 309-762-7919 or visit www.drsmithdpm.com. Located at 505 Valley View Drive, Suite 1, Moline, IL 61265.
Photo credit: 73854673 /iStock
Foot Self-Exam Checklist
Inspect your feet for spots or lesions that could be a sign of cancer. Do you see:
- Discoloration, including red, purple, brown, white or black spots?
- Raised areas of skin?
- Irregularly shaped moles?
- Bleeding, itching or oozing spots?
- Warts that smell bad?
- Sores or bruises that don’t heal?
- Dry, scaly patches?
- Fast-growing corn tissue?
- New, abnormal tissue growth?
If you answer yes to any of these, schedule an appointment with your doctor or podiatrist.