Sunbathers often spend excessive time protecting their skin with sunscreen when outside. However, they may not put sunscreen on their feet. This is a problem that podiatrists have admitted is a severe danger, as skin cancer on the feet can be a problematic and fatal condition.
Foot Cancer Is Often Ignored And Fatal
Though feet bear the largest burden on a person's body, they are often ignored. Why? That is hard to say: perhaps it is a combination of "out of sight, out of mind" and a poor understanding of the various forms of cancer that can affect the foot. Melanoma or skin cancer occurring on the foot is a serious problem that can often be fatal.
In fact, studies have shown that patients with skin cancer on the feet only have a 52 percent survival rate while those with cancer on the skin of other parts of the body have a survival rate of 84 percent. Ignoring or misunderstanding these types of cancer does a lot to contribute to this problem.
Spotting The Types Of Lesions
There are many types of lesions that can occur on the feet. The first type is Acral lentiginous melanoma. It includes a variety of lesions on the outer layer of the skin. Typically, it is most common in people with darker skin types and is responsible for half of all skin cancers on the feet. Other types of lesions include nodular melanoma (with a vertical appearance) and superficial spreading melanoma (which grows in a later manner).
Those who sunbathe or who regularly visit their podiatrist may be at a decreased risk of ignoring these lesions. Why? Sunbathers are more likely to see their feet regularly while relaxing in the sun. However, they are also more likely to develop these lesions. When skin cancer does occur on the foot, it is necessary to get it managed as soon as possible.
How Podiatrists Can Help
Protecting the feet is likely the best way to prevent skin cancer from occurring. This includes limiting exposure to the sun and wearing heavy sunscreen on them when outside. Sunbathers can even wear socks or shoes to protect their feet from the sun. However, they are unlikely to do so as they won't want to ruin their perfect tan.
When skin cancer does appear on the foot, a podiatrist will do what they can to help. They will take a skin biopsy to test the severity of their patient's cancer. Treatment methods, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy will then be used. Yearly or even bi-yearly visits to the podiatrist can help to further decrease the chance of developing skin cancer on the feet due to sunbathing. Contact a clinic like Laurel Podiatry Associates, LLC to learn more.