by, April 1st, 2009 at 08:42 PM (1985 Views)
Did a run this morning - 3.7 miles - before a doctor's appointment. Had planned to swim, except my doctor removed a 2 mm. spot on the inside of my third toe that has been there for 8 weeks. I thought it was nothing, but he said he was sending it off to the pathologist and mentioned that if it was melanoma, that he would have to go back in and "dig deeper." GREAT. Now I have to wait 5-7 days to hear whether I have melanoma or not. Can you say basket case?
Probably would not have been able to swim today anyway because I have also developed a really bad cold. Now I get to lie around and think about the possibility of having melanoma. FUN.
Since we all spend a good bit of time outdoors, thought I would add this article. Check your toes and the bottom of your feet!
Foot Melanoma Is The Deadliest Cancer, But Routine Foot Self Exams Can Increase Early Detection, Survival
Main Category: Cancer / Oncology
Also Included In: Dermatology; Melanoma / Skin Cancer
Article Date: 09 Aug 2007 - 1:00 PST
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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, http://www.footphysicians.com
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, http://www.footphysicians.com.