For generations, people have characterized Texas by its big, open skies, expansive land, and Wild West history. Pleasanton is proud of its role in this history, as you can see at the city’s Longhorn Museum. However, all that open, sunny sky can contribute to skin cancer changes, and your feet are not immune. Checking your feet for strange lesions can go a long way in protecting yourself.
Skin cancer can be particularly dangerous on your feet, since most people don’t notice it there until it’s too late. Fortunately, you can do something about cancer—even melanoma—if you catch it early enough. You just have to know the signs and symptoms to tell apart a regular mole from cancerous one.
Normal moles have distinct borders that mark where the spot ends and your normal skin begins. Typically they’re tan, brown, or black. Generally they’re round or oval in shape and tend to stay smaller than a quarter of an inch. They can be raised bumps or flush with the surrounding skin. The majority of the time, moles are just benign lesions; however, they look like, and can even change into, malignant melanoma.
This dangerous cancer has a few tell-tale signs that can help identify it, though. Checking your feet every day for these changes can help you get diagnosed and treated before the problem metastasizes and becomes deadly:
- Asymmetry – The shape of the lesion is abnormal, with one side that looks very different from the other.
- Borders – The borders that separate the patch from normal skin are irregular. They may appear blurry, notched, ragged, or otherwise uneven.
- Color Changes – Frequently a melanoma spot features multiple uneven colors smashed together. These can include black, brown, tan, red, or even pink.
- Diameter – Malignant spots grow, so the lesion may be more than six millimeters in diameter.
Any mole that seems to change from a regular bump to a large or unusually shaped one has a high risk for cancer. The key really is, then, to check your feet often for these changes.
Skin cancer from melanoma is a dangerous condition that needs to be caught early to treat it successfully. If you’d like help examining an unusual spot, let Dr. Darren Silvester and the Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic team in Pleasanton, TX, know. You can make an appointment with us by calling (830) 569-3338.