Foot cancer is not unheard of. Residents of New Mexico should know that cancer of the foot can develop for a variety of reasons: sun exposure, chemical exposure, genetics and viruses, to name a few. Below are the three most common types of cancer that affect the feet and what they might look like.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common, and it starts off as a small but itchy and scaly bump or plaque. At times, this may crack and bleed. It’s liable to be mistaken for another foot condition like eczema or a plantar wart. When advanced, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body.
The second is basal cell carcinoma, which can arise on regularly sun-exposed feet. It will resemble a benign ulcer or skin tumor and will be pearly white. This is among the least aggressive of cancers, rarely spreading beyond the skin.
The worst cancer, though, is malignant melanoma. Patients will develop mole-like tumors that are asymmetrical, ragged around the edges, somewhat multi-colored and relatively wide (more than 6 mm). They may appear on the top of the foot, the soles or under toenails. If they’re not detected early, there is little chance of survival. A podiatrist can determine if patients have cancer through a clinical examination and skin biopsy.
Cancer is among the most misdiagnosed conditions, and it often turns out that a doctor’s misdiagnosis is the result of negligence: that is, a failure to live up to a generally accepted standard of care. Victims of a diagnostic error may undergo unneeded treatments and be harmed when their true condition worsens and makes a full recovery even less of a possibility. To seek compensation, they may file a malpractice claim, but they may want to have legal assistance.