Skin cancer is far and away the most common form of cancer, affecting approximately 3.3 million people per year in the United States. When skin cancer strikes your legs, ankles, or feet, the team at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center can help. If you’re in the Phoenix or Maricopa, Arizona, areas and you want the best in skin cancer care for your lower extremities, call or use the online booking feature to set up a consultation.
There are three main types of skin cancer, which include:
This form of skin cancer represents 7 out of 10 cases of skin cancer and typically form in areas that have been exposed to the sun. In other words, this form of cancer doesn’t often affect your feet, though it can develop on your legs.
Squamous cell carcinoma represents almost 2 out of 10 of all skin cancer diagnoses and most foot cancers fall into this category.
This is the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer, though melanoma only accounts for less than one in 10 diagnoses of all skin cancers. When melanoma strikes the feet, it’s often on the soles and can even develop under your toenails.
The signs of skin cancer are often hard to detect at first. In fact, squamous cell carcinomas can often be confused with plantar warts, a callus, or a fungal infection. If you have an area that doesn’t seem to heal, despite trying different treatments, your doctor may check for cancerous cells in your lesion or patchy skin.
If a basal cell carcinoma develops on your legs, it typically shows up as a patch of crusty skin or a white, pearly bump.
The signs of melanoma are even more difficult to identify since this form of cancer can develop under your toenail. Even when it’s in plain view, it can take on many different forms or colors, but most are typically brown or red spots that may, or may not, have a bump.
When you see your podiatrist at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center, the first step is to identify whether skin cancer is present. Your doctor often does this by ruling out other issues and taking a biopsy of your skin. A biopsy is a quick and small procedure which allows us to identify what the lesion is and get you the proper care.
If they spot cancerous cells, there are a number of ways they can approach your treatment, depending upon the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Typical treatments include:
For expert cancer care of your lower extremities, call Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.