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Footnotes / Blog

Melanoma in Feet

Sunday, October 8th, 2017 Elizabeth Anthony

Melanoma is a type of aggressive skin cancer that starts from a specific skin cell called a melanocyte.

Between 3 to 15 percent of melanomas occur on the foot.

Melanoma is a malignancy, and has the highest fatality rate of all skin cancers.

Signs and Symptoms

Change in size, shape, color, or texture of an existing mole is the presenting sign of melanoma.

ABCDE is the classically utilized acronym to define the characteristics of melanoma.

  • Asymmetry: One-half of the lesion is not identical to the other.
  • Border: The lesion has an irregular, ragged or indistinct border.
  • Color: The lesion is more than one color.
  • Diameter: The lesion has a diameter greater than 6 mm.
  • Evolution: The lesion changes in size, shape or color

New “Foot Specific” Classification: CUBED

  • Colored: A lesion has a color different to normal skin.
  • Uncertain: A lesion does not have a definite diagnosis.
  • Bleeding: A lesion on the foot or under the nail bleeds or oozes fluid.
  • Enlargement: A lesion or ulcer that grows or worsens despite therapy.
  • Delay: Any lesion that takes longer than 2 months to heal.

Causes

  • Family history
  • Pale Skin, freckles, blue eyes, blonde hair.
  • Existing moles

Diagnosis 

A doctor will examine your lesion, if there is suspicion for melanoma, then a biopsy may be taken.

If there is worry that a melanoma has spread beyond the skin to other parts of the body, further imaging tests such as MRI or PET scans will be performed.

Treatment

If melanoma is diagnosed early on, then surgery to remove the cancerous mole is the main treatment.

If the cancer has advanced to later stages, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy may all be necessary.

Prevention

Exposure to UV radiation from the sun increases the risk of melanoma. High exposure to the sun while an infant, child or adolescent increases your risk of developing melanoma later in life. Regular skin checks by a doctor can catch skin cancer such as melanoma while it is still in an early stage, greatly decreasing the risk of cancer spreading.

 

If you are worried you may have melanoma or another type of cancerous lesion on your foot, make an appointment with one of the doctors at Innovative Foot and Ankle. We have 4 office locations in Montclair, NJ, Little Ferry, NJ, Kenilworth, NJ and Bayonne NJ.