Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Did You Check Your Toes Today?

Who would have ever thought to check ones feet for evidence of skin cancer? But it seems it is very true. This simple but important health tip could save your life! Read the entire article I have copied below:
Feet are an important way to find skin cancer early
Miscellaneous News
Published: Wednesday, 8-Aug-2007

The next time you clip your toenails, take a closer look at the rest of your feet. An extra 60 seconds could save your life.
Foot and ankle surgeons say routine self examinations of the feet are an important way to find skin cancer early, when it's easiest to cure. Half of the people who learn they have melanoma of the foot die within five years because the cancer had already spread throughout their body by the time it was diagnosed.
Nearly 60,000 people will learn they have melanoma this year. It's not known how many of those cases will involve the foot, but more than 8,100 melanoma patients will die? nearly one death every hour. If melanoma is detected in its earliest stages, 92 percent of patients are alive after five years.
Unlike many other types of cancer, melanoma strikes people of all age groups, even the young. Whites are 10 times more likely to develop melanoma than blacks. But studies suggest more than half of melanoma cases in blacks involve the foot, where late diagnosis leads to a higher death rate. Routine foot self exams increase the likelihood of noticing suspicious moles, freckles or other spots.
"The first question I'm going to ask a patient is, "How long has it been there?'" says Neil Campbell, DPM, FACFAS, a spokesman for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).
Foot and ankle surgeons recommend focusing on the three most common areas for foot melanoma: the soles, between the toes, and around or under the toenails. Campbell notes melanoma can develop anywhere on the body including areas that receive little sun exposure, such as the feet and ankles. If a mole, freckle or spot starts to change over the course of a month and becomes asymmetrical or changes its border, color, diameter or elevation, see a doctor immediately. Those are the ABCDEs, or signs, of melanoma.
For more information on malignant melanoma of the foot, or to find a local foot and ankle surgeon, visit the ACFAS consumer Web site,
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is a professional society of more than 6,000 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College's mission is to promote research and provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its consumer website,


Danielle said...

As a skin cancer educator, I'm glad you mentioned the importance of examining every inch of your body (including your toes and the soles of your feet) for melanoma.

Indeed, melanoma is NOT a respecter of persons. Take, for instance, Bob Marley -

He died at age 36 from a malignant melanoma found on his toe.

Thanks for spreading the word!

The Cancer Crusaders Organization

Chris said...

Thank you for your kind post. I will continue to spread the word.

Chris said...

Danielle, actually I'm THRILLED you found my sight. Your book was the topic of my July 28, post. the topic

Catherine said...

Amazing - I didn't know that Bob Marley died from Melanoma - especially from his toe... Good to learn all of this.

Carol said...

I just found your blog as I was googling a new mole I found between my toes last night. It is smooth, shiny, small, and one side seems to be a brownish red while the rest is skin color. Do you think this is anything to worry about?

Chris said...


It is far better to be safe, have it checked it out.


Anonymous said...

Good idea to check the toes !

My 9 yr old son had a mole between his toes from birth. It recently started changing, and everyone from the pedatrician to the PA and the Dermatologist all said they thought it was nothing but had it biopsied "just in case". It was malignant melanoma in its early stage.

I never really paid any attention to the mole.

Anonymous said...

Overexposer to sunlight seems to be the most commonly mentioned cause for malignant melanoma on the foot. Can this pathology also be induced by truama? If what I have read is right, Bob Marley stubbed his big toe while playing soccer on the beach. Bob didn't seek treatment for years even though the big toe never healed correctly. I also have a patient who developed malignant melanoma years after a horse had stepped on his big toe. Any thoughts?

Ailec said...

I found a mole on my toe for the first time about three or four weeks ago (it was very, very small... more of a freckle). It got bigger and was different than other moles I'd seen... assymetrical, possibly discolored in areas, and, from what I could tell, an unusual border... it almost appeared to be growing under the surface of my skin in parts. I actually picked it off today (sorry that's gross!! but the skin around it was peeling and I couldn't help 'investigating' the area). There are two new "freckles" on the toe beside the one this was found on, and I'd like to go to the doctor and have it checked out.
My parents would rather not, the mole is/was very small (smaller than head of pencil eraser)and they'd like to "wait and see". ("wait and see" what? my toe turn green and fall off?). after looking at some stats about melanoma of the feet, I'd really like to go to the doctor... how can I persuade my parents?

maria said...

OMG, im really worried now, ive had a mole/freckle on the inside of my little toe for as long as i can remember, its black blurry and slightly raised, it doesnt seem to have changed much though over time! im soo scared after reading this because its been there soo long, im only 25 and dont want to die, ive got a little boy of 4, what chances are there of living if it is melanoma and its been there so long????

Abby said...

Read this a week ago while hopping around the internet. Decided I might as well listen to this, and then I found something inbetween my toes this morning while clipping the nails. Going to have it checked out tomorrow. Not feeling to good about it, seeing as I'm only 15 and have been out in the sun almost everyday of the summer my whole life. Swimming and lifeguarding does that to you.
Still, I may just be overreacting. Even if I'm not, it hasn't been there long so hopefully I got it early.


Leesa said...

Just searching the internet while awaiting my lab results next week- I had a mark removed on the side of my pinky toe about 4 days ago...
It grew from nothing and my dermatologist said- "Let's do a biopsy on that." I hope it's nothing-- I was the one who persisted with it because I'm very vigilant about all the marks I have on my body- I'm a native Southern Californian and have been in the sun all my life--- Thanks so much for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I just had part ( first digit) of my small toe amputated due to a melanoma. Get those freckles checked out people!

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Anonymous said...

I am a 58 year old nurse that have been getting treatment for the 4th toe on my left foot, which had turned black. I saw a vascular surgeon, which referred me to wound and hyperbaric medicine. I have had 60+ hyperbaric treatments and the toe turned pink and looked much better. On 07/31/13, I had a routine visit with my dermatologist - he entered the room and noticed my toe. He was concerned and removed part of the toe that day - the following week I learned the pathology report came back and it is Melanoma.I am currently scheduled an appointment
tomorrow with a surgeon to get a PET Scan and have the toe amputated. This is really a scary thing - please take the time to check your feet and the feet of family members.
My question is did the hyperbaric treatments do anything to spread the Melanoma or did the high concentration of oxygen keep it from spreading? I'd love your opinion.

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