Doctors Urge Sunscreen Use and Exams to Prevent Skin Cancer on Feet
CHICAGO—July 8, 2013 Many people do not think about their feet when applying sunscreen, but did you know that the skin on your feet is highly susceptible to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer? The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) warns that skin cancer of the foot is prevalent and can even be fatal if not caught early.
While all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, can be found on the foot, the most common is the most serious form, melanoma. Symptoms can be as subtle as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle found anywhere on the foot, and often go unnoticed without routine foot exams.
The foot and ankle surgeons of ACFAS offer these tips to keep your feet safe this summer:
According to Boston foot and ankle surgeon Thanh Dinh, DPM, FACFAS, early diagnosis is key to effective treatment for the condition. But because people aren't looking for the early warning signs or taking the same precautions they do for other areas of the body, often times skin cancer in this region is not diagnosed until later stages.
- Lather up with sunscreen from head to toe—literally—when at the pool or beach to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
- Check your feet and toes regularly for symptoms such as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle anywhere on the foot – even under toenails and on your soles.
- Look for moles or freckles that change in size or shape. If you notice anything suspicious, promptly schedule an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist to have the mark examined.
- Schedule routine exams with your foot and ankle specialist so he or she can keep track of suspicious, changing marks.
For more information on skin cancer of the foot or other foot and ankle health information, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon's patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org,
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College's mission is to promote research, provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org.