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.
Boston Common Podiatry’s Jordana, Szpiro, DPM, FACFAS, is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). The Boston foot and ankle surgeon says 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. Routine foot self-exams increase the likelihood of noticing suspicious moles, freckles or other spots.
Dr. Szpiro recommends focusing on the three most common areas for foot melanoma: the soles, between the toes, and around or under the toenails. She 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, contact Boston Common Podiatry at 617-262-2266 immediately. Those are the ABCDEs, or signs, of melanoma.
For more information on malignant melanoma of the foot, visit the ACFAS patient Web site FootHealthFacts.org.
About Boston Common Podiatry
Boston Common Podiatry specializes in the treatment of foot conditions including pain, fractures and sports-related injuries; complicated foot conditions caused by diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease; pediatric podiatry and molded orthotics. From athletes and dancers to marathon runners and high-heeled fashionistas to seniors and children, the renowned Boston Common Podiatry cares for patients from the greater Boston and Cape Cod areas.
The practice’s physicians are affiliated with Partner’s Healthcare, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford. The office is handicapped accessible and they offer convenient, on-site x-ray services.
Boston Common Podiatry is one of the few practices in the area offering two of the newest, most advanced treatments: Keryflex, which is a new and innovative solution to fungal or dystrophic nails and the innovative GenesisPlus Nd:YAG laser by Cutera, the most powerful FDA-cleared laser for the treatment of warts, fungus, scars and thermal resurfacing. Boston Common Podiatry is located at 264 Beacon Street, Second Floor, Boston, MA. For more information contact 617-262-2266 or visit bostoncommonpodiatry.com.