Skin cancer on the feet can occur anywhere — the tops of the feet, between the toes, under the nails, and on the soles.
Did you know that melanoma symptoms are often diagnosed by podiatrists? Members of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) were recently polled to find out if they’d ever found melanoma or skin cancer during a routine foot examination. Seventy-five percent said they had.
When melanoma is found on the foot, survival rates are lower because it often is not discovered until it has progressed. When not treated in the early stages, the fatality rate for melanoma is approximately 50 percent within five years of diagnosis.
When applying sunscreen, don’t neglect your feet and toes!
“Everyone can protect themselves by avoiding the sun, but if that doesn’t cut it on a beautiful day then apply a high level sunscreen to the feet and toes. Reapply sunscreen often as it wears away over the course of a couple of hours and washes away if you go swimming,” said Dr. Robin Ross, president, NYSPMA. “If you see any unusual marks or discoloration on your feet or toenails, see a podiatrist, the foot doctor specialist, who will be able to expertly assess the situation.”
Next: Signs of Melanoma & What if you don’t want to use sunscreen?