Skin Cancer On Your FOOT?

We often think of malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, as something that only effects areas of our body that gets too much sun. Because of this, dangerous lesions go under diagnosed, especially on the feet and lower legs. Your Houston podiatrist is uniquely positioned to identify these suspicious lesions and perform a biopsy to ensure it is not cancerous.

Some patients are apprehensive about having a biopsy performed. Some feel that if a lesion has always been there, it couldn't be bad. Others are nervous about the simple biopsy procedure. Still others are concerned about bad news. The truth is, while most biopsies performed come back as normal, the lesions that are caught in early stages of malignancy are worth the effort.

Even skin lesions that always have been there can evolve to become malignant. A mole that was once small can grow in size and thickness. This is a sign of malignancy. A lesion that was once nice and round but becomes irregular is also a concern, as is one that is not uniformly one color. These lesions should be further investigated.

A biopsy is a minor, in-office procedure that requires a small amount of anesthesia injected beneath the lesion. Depending on the type of lesion, a small section is either shaved off or removed with a sterile "punch." In most cases the site of the biopsy is dressed with antibiotic cream and a bandaid. The biopsy is sent to a lab where a specialist evaluates the biopsy under a microscope and results are usually received in only a few days.

If the a diagnosis of malignant melanoma is returned, the result is most likely a more thorough removal of the lesion in the operating room. Your podiatrist will also likely refer you to another specialist to ensure it was an isolated lesion and incident of melanoma.

Don't take an unusual skin lesion for granted. A biopsy is your insurance to make sure that any problem is identified and resolved early. Waiting will only cause additional issues in the future. If you or a family member notice a mole, bump, or patch on the skin of the foot, ankle, or leg, contact Dr. Schneider to have it properly evaluated.
2 Comments
Even skin lesions that always have been there can evolve to become malignant. A mole that was once small can grow in size and thickness. This is a sign of malignancy. A lesion that was once nice and round but becomes irregular is also a concern, as is one that is not uniformly one color. These lesions should be further investigated.
by clinical oncology March 5, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Brilliant post!
by Noah Berkowitz December 6, 2011 at 08:12 PM
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