Melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, grows on skin that gets too much sun, and that includes your feet. And because most people don’t check their feet for signs of melanoma, it often spreads before it’s detected. Because May 3 is known as Melanoma Monday, today Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA is sharing what you need to know about melanoma and your feet.
If allowed to spread, melanoma can be fatal. By examining your feet regularly, you can detect it early at a time when it’s still highly treatable. Here are some tips for identifying melanoma on your feet.
Look for the signs of melanoma
In addition to looking like a mole that is changing, melanoma on the foot can look like:
- Black or brown vertical line under a toenail
- Pinkish-red growth or spot
- New growth or spot in the area where you injured your foot
- Quickly growing mass on your foot (especially where you had a previous foot injury)
- A sore on your foot that doesn’t heal (or heals and returns)
- A sore that is similar to a diabetic ulcer
In some cases, melanoma on the foot bleeds, itches, or feels painful but not always. (The bleeding typically tends to stop and then start again.)
Melanoma on the bottom of a foot: One half is unlike the other and it is larger than the eraser on a pencil.
Melanoma on the bottom of the foot: Uneven border, one or more colors, and one half is unlike the other.
Melanoma beneath a toenail: On the hands and feet, melanoma can start as a dark vertical line (or lines) underneath a nail.
Melanoma on a heel with a callus: The melanoma may be reddish pink, black, flesh-colored, or brown, and it can be any shape.
Melanoma can appear as an open sore: If you have a non-healing sore on your foot, see a doctor so that it can be determined whether it’s skin cancer or just a sore.
If you find a growth, sore, or spot that could be a melanoma on your foot, you want to see a podiatrist immediately to determine your course of action. When it develops on the feet, melanoma is often mistaken for several things, including normal pigmentation under a toenail, callus, non-healing wound, a wart, or another skin condition.
If you find a suspicious spot on your foot, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.