Are you a victim of Melanoma May

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Are you a victim of Melanoma May?

 

Ingrown toenails, warts, bruises, moles….what do they have in common? On the feet, skin cancer can resemble a variety of common foot problems.    In humans, skin cancer is actually the most common form of cancer.   The  3 main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.  Even though, melanoma is the rarer of the three, 75% of all skin cancer deaths result from malignant melanoma.

 

Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including the feet and legs. Sometimes there is a history of recurrent bleeding, cracking or ulceration but many times they are painless. On the feet, melanoma  is known as the great  masquerader because  it can resemble benign moles, blood blisters, ingrown toenails, plantar warts, bruises or foreign bodies.

 

This skin cancer many times begins as a small brown-black spot or bump but in 1/3 of the cases will lack brown pigment and may appear pink or red.  A common misconception is that melanoma occur only in fair skinned freckled, light haired people. Although dark skinned people are less likely to get skin cancer they are susceptible to  Acral Lentiginous Melanoma on the soles of their feet.

 

Simple tips to avoid skin cancer include:

  •  Avoid deliberate tanning in a tanning bed or outside in the sun.  Your risk for melanoma doubles if you have had more than five sunburns.
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  •  Lather up with sunscreen SPF 30+ from head  to protect your skin from the suns the suns harmful rays.
  •  Check your feet and in-between  toes regularly for abnormal-looking moles or freckles everywhere, even under toenails and on your soles.
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  •  Beware of moles or freckles that change in size or shape.
  •  Learn the ABCDs of Melanoma.   Asymmetry- sides don’t match.  Borders look uneven.  Color- may have more than one color.  Diameter- wider than a pencil eraser.
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  •  A suspicious discolored  ingrown toenail that keeps reoccurring and bleeds easily should be checked.
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  •  Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist  who will help you  keep track of suspicious, changing marks.

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month.  Once you suspect that you  have a skin cancer on your feet call your podiatrist for an  appointment immediately.  A simple skin biopsy can save your life.

 

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US  27.  For more information visit www.gentlefootcarecenter.com or call 863-314-9255.

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