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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
June 02, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: foot melanoma   skin cancer  

As summer draws closer, we at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, want to focus on an important foot and overall health issue: melanoma. This is the deadliest form of skin cancer and it is on the rise. At a time when the incidence of many other cancers is declining, cases of melanoma have doubled in the last three decades. Also alarming is that it is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in young adults. See if you know the facts about this disease and how to protect yourself and your family by checking out the true/false statements below:

Melanomas are commonly found on the skin of your feet.

FALSE: Melanomas are not frequently found on the feet, however, when they are diagnosed in this part of the body they are often in a late and much less treatable stage. The reason for this is that people are not in the habit of checking their feet regularly. It’s also essential to apply sunscreen to your feet at the same frequency that you do the rest of your body. Don’t forget to the do the bottoms of your feet too if you are spending the day at the beach or pool.

If a family member has had melanoma you have a higher likelihood of getting it too.

TRUE: About 10% of all patients with melanoma have a family history of the disease but that by no means makes it a certainty. Your lifestyle choices can go a long way to reducing your risk of melanoma. Be sure to:

  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply after swimming. Keep in mind that UV ray damage can be even greater when you are near a reflective surface like water or snow.
  • Use sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
  • Avoid activities outside during peak sun hours.

Tanning beds are pretty safe these days.

FALSE: Indoor tanning increases your risk of melanoma by 75%! Researchers believe this may be a big factor in why melanoma is one of the top 3 cancers currently diagnosed in young adults.

Suspicious moles should be examined by a doctor.

TRUE: Know the warning signs of a potential melanoma. A=asymmetrical shape; B=border that’s irregular; C=multi-colored; D=diameter larger than a pencil eraser; E=evolving or changing in size or thickness.

If you have even a mild concern about a mole or abnormality in the skin of your feet, contact our Washington office for an appointment as soon as possible. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker can help rule out potential skin cancers or refer you to a specialist if necessary.

 

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