Melanoma & Feet


Skin cancer consists of tumors that grow in your skin and can eventually spread if left untreated. Melanoma is known as the most serious and deadly form of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer develops in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin color. Melanoma can spread from these cells to other parts of your body. Be on the lookout for unusual-looking moles around areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun on a regular basis including your feet!!

Bob Marley, the famous Jamaican singer and song writer died at the age of 36 years from melanoma of the foot that started under the nail of his big toe. 

Did that get your attention?  Hope so.

He did not have the darkened nail and “injury” check out medically as he dismissed it as probably being cause by a soccer wound. 

Do not dismiss anything out of the ordinary when it comes to bumps, lumps, discolouration and pain of your feet or any other part of your body.  When it comes to feet check – on a regular basis – on top, on the bottom, under the nails and between the toes

WALKING ON DISEASE (Images by Fabiosa)

Symptoms

Signs of melanoma include new spots on the skin, or a change in size, shape or color of an existing mole.

The ABCDE method may help you determine if an abnormal skin growth may be melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: The mole has an irregular shape.
  • Border: The edge is not smooth, but irregular or notched.
  • Color: The mole has uneven shading or dark spots.
  • Diameter: The spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving or Elevation: The spot is changing in size, shape or texture.

Other melanoma symptoms may include:

  • Sores that do not heal
  • Pigment, redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot to the surrounding skin
  • Itchiness, tenderness or pain
  • Changes in texture, or scales, oozing or bleeding from an existing mole

The only way to be sure if a mole is melanoma is to have it examined by a doctor. Since cancer symptoms may vary—and not all melanomas develop from moles—it is important to discuss any new or unusual skin growths with your doctor and with your podiatrist.

 Causes

It's likely that a combination of factors, including environmental and genetic factors, causes melanoma. Still, doctors believe exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and from tanning lamps and beds is a leading factor in melanoma.

Risk Factors

The risk of melanoma seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially women.


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