Did you know that you could get skin cancer on your feet? Many people are not aware of this since feet are often hidden in shoes or partly covered in sandals. To give you an idea of the seriousness of melanoma, there were 12,000 estimated deaths in 2012 alone due to melanoma.
Why is plantar melanoma dangerous?
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and when it is found on the sole or the underside of your foot, it is called plantar melanoma. Melanoma on other parts of your body is typically detected and diagnosed early which means treatment starts quickly and the cancer is attacked right away. On your feet, this skin cancer can go unnoticed until it has had the time to advance to a serious stage. The skin lesions that are indicative of melanoma can also be mistaken as a mole, wart, callus or infection which often causes people to delay having it looked at.
The National Institutes of Health has done studies on patients with this type of skin cancer and one study found that it took an average of 4 years from the time patients noticed a skin lesion to when they actually sought treatment for it. Early detection and appropriate treatment is extremely important for a positive prognosis.
Dr. Harvey Danciger, foot specialist in Palm Desert, CA regularly reminds patients to remember the melanoma alphabet when monitoring feet:
A – Asymmetry. Look for one side to be bigger
B – Border. Look for an irregular border
C – Color. Look for variations of color in a lesion
D – Diameter. Look for something bigger than 6mm.
E – Evolution. Look for any changes.
Contact Dr. Danciger if you have any spot on your foot that you think is worth looking at. It is an appointment that could literally save your life. Call us today at (760) 568-0108.