Skin Cancer on the Feet and Ankles – True and False


Is this statement true or false?

You cannot get skin cancer on your feet.

FALSE! The skin on your feet and ankles – including the bottom of your feet – is vulnerable to many kinds of skin cancer, even the very dangerous melanoma.

Skin Cancer of the Feet: “True and False”

Skin cancer is only caused by sun exposure. FALSE. Although cumulative ultraviolet (UV) sun damage causes many types of cancers, other factors may result in cancer too. These include chemical burns and pollutants as well as viral infections like human papillomavirus (HPV).

Melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. TRUE. Because a melanoma grows down into the skin, it can reach the blood vessels or lymph system. From there, a melanoma can spread to other body organs.

You cannot get skin cancer on the bottom of your feet. FALSE. When you lounge on the beach or by a pool with your back exposed to the sun, the soles of your feet are facing the sun too.

A mole that changes in appearance may be cancerous. TRUE. Watch any mole for changes in color, size or appearance. A mole that is larger than ¼ inch, with sides that are uneven or unequal may be cancer.

Skin cancers are easy to spot. FALSE. A melanoma can masquerade as many other skin issues including a mole, ingrown nail, ulcer, plantar wart or blood blister.

A melanoma can appear under the toenail. TRUE. Melanoma and other cancers can show up on the top or bottom of the foot, in between the toes and under the toenails.

There is nothing you can do to prevent skin cancer. FALSE. During May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage you to learn the signs of skin cancer on the feet and ankles and how you can reduce your risk for this disease by:

  • Inspecting your feet, toes and between the toes every day. Call us if you notice anything unusual.

  • Applying a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 when venturing outdoors – and don’t forget your feet and ankles. Reapply frequently, especially if you are sweating or swimming.

  • Staying out of the sun when it is strongest, usually between 10 am and 4 pm.

  • Wearing UV-absorbent sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim for more protection.

Let Us Know If You Spot Any Suspicious Skin Growth on Your Feet

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.