Foot Cancer: Catching it Early is Crucial

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Examining the footFoot cancer is a category that encompasses a large variety of conditions. Some are easier to treat than others. Some are malignant, while others are simply tumors or growths. You should check your feet daily, and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Parker. Cancer is most easily treated in its early stages, so catching it sooner rather than later is crucial.

Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer because it attacks other parts of the body as it spreads. Anyone can get melanoma, from young to old. Unfortunately, when this skin cancer develops in the foot, it usually goes unnoticed for a while, allowing the cells to multiply and spread. That is why it is so important to catch melanoma early. Checking your feet daily is an integral part of this. If you notice a mole that is asymmetrical, has ragged borders, is a strange color or many colors, is larger than a pencil eraser, or is evolving over time, you should get it checked immediately. These are all possible signs of skin cancer. To protect your feet from melanoma, you should wear closed toed shoes. If you are going to be barefoot or wearing sandals, be sure to apply sunscreen, as exposure to sun is the main culprit.

Bone Tumors

There are three categories involving bone tumors: benign tumors, metastatic cancers, and primary bone cancers. Many of these can affect the feet. Benign tumors are simply growths that will not harm you. These include osteochondroma and enchondroma— both commonly found in the feet and easily treatable. Metastatic cancers means that the cancer started somewhere else and then spread to the bone. People with breast, prostate, or lung cancers can be at risk of metastasis. Primary bone cancers are typically very rare. Osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and chondrosarcoma all develop in the bones. Any of them may affect the feet or legs.

Other Types of Foot Cancer

There are other types of tumors that primarily affect the feet. Plantar fibromas are benign growths that are found on the bottom of the feet. They grow inside the plantar fascia and can be treated with the use of orthotics. Giant cell tumors are also benign growths that are found by the toes, on the top of the foot, and on the side of the foot. They can grow inside the feet as well, and can be very painful without treatment, which is almost always surgical removal.

When to Get Medical Help

If you noticed anything out of the ordinary with your feet, seek medical attention immediately. Call Dr. Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX. We will diagnose your condition and determine the best treatment plan for you. If it is cancer, it is best to get started on treatment right away, as your chances of beating it increase when caught early. Cancer is a scary word, but we are here so you don’t have to fight it alone.