Cancer Where You Never Thought to Look

You know where to check for breast cancer, but do you know where to check for skin cancer? Skin is the largest organ on our bodies, but it can be easy to overlook some spots. For instance, when was the last time your doctor took a good look at your feet? For that matter, when is the last time you looked at the bottoms of your feet?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 3.5 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Harmful sun rays often cause skin cancer, but skin cancer on the feet can also be related to viruses.

Take a few minutes to examine your skin and take a look at your feet. Don’t forget to look at the bottoms and in between toes. If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment to see your doctor.

“Most [skin cancers] are painless, but often there’s a history of recurrent cracking, itching, bleeding, or ulceration,” cautions Dr. Gary Stones, Podiatrist and New York State Podiatric Medical Association President. “These cancers often go undiagnosed until another issue presents itself near the affected site.” Podiatrists are trained to recognize skin conditions of the foot.

As with all types of cancer, early detection and treatment may result in a more positive prognosis.

Skin Cancer Warning Signs

On the foot, basal cell cancers can appear like noncancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers. Skin cancer on the foot can often look like plantar warts, fungal infections, eczema, or other dermatological conditions.

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice:

  • non-healing sores
  • bumps that crack and bleed
  • inflamed bumps
  • nodules with rolled edges or scaly areas
  • callous-like lesions
  • ongoing itchiness

A skin biopsy can identify whether cells are cancerous or noncancerous.

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Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock


Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn1 years ago

Many thanks to you !

Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Very good information. Never considered the bottom of the feet as a cancer source.
Thank you.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago


Janet B.
Janet B3 years ago


Sarah Dyson
Sarah Dyson3 years ago

Well yes!!! Everything that comes down from the atmosphere goes where we put our feet.

V Madonna Schizoid
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you ☺

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


heather g.
heather g4 years ago

I'm fortunate to have a doctor I can talk to about anything....

If you continue to treat something at home, without mentioning it to your doctor, that doesn't make sense. They prefer you to have everything checked - because we know our bodies best.

Lin M
Lin M4 years ago

Thank you. I've been having a problem with what I thought was a wart covered with dry skin. Will have Dr. see it next week.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Wow! I never would have thought the bottom of your fee could be prone to skin cancer! Also who would have thought it could be related to a virus. Yikes! Guess I better break out the hand held mirror for a look!