Skin Cancer: What’s Your Risk?

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Although May is designated Skin Cancer Awareness Month, here in Venice we are concerned with sun exposure all year round. At Gentle Professional Foot Care, we want patients to be aware that skin cancer can affect the skin on your feet. Sadly, in many cases, skin cancers on the feet are not detected until they are in the advanced stages because patients don’t think to look for signs of this disease on their feet. It’s important to know the types of changes that could signal a malignant melanoma—one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. Irregular borders, moles larger in diameter than a pencil eraser, multi-colored or mottled skin lesions and those that are asymmetrical in appearance should all be reported to our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, as soon as you notice them. Contact our Venice office for an appointment by calling: (941) 493-7999.

Know Your Risk

Although skin cancers can strike any age, sex or ethnicity, there are certain factors that increase your risk for this disease. These include:

  • Skin tone—Caucasians have a greater chance of developing skin cancer than non-white races. In addition, people with blond or red hair, blue or green eyes or skin that freckles or burns easily are in a higher risk category.
  • Age—exposure to harmful UV radiation has a cumulative effect, therefore the older you are the greater your risk.
  • Use of tanning beds—this voluntary exposure to a known carcinogen increases the risk of melanoma by 74%.
  • Immune suppressed conditions—diseases that compromise the immune system, certain viruses and immune suppression therapy associated with organ transplants can cause you to have an increased risk for skin cancer.
  • Genetics and family history—patients with one or more parents or siblings with skin cancer and those who have had it in the past are more likely to develop skin cancer.
  • Lifestyle—certain lifestyle choices and job-related scenarios can increase your risk of skin cancer. These include: smoking, chemical exposure and working outdoors.

Get in the habit of conducting monthly skin exams on your feet. Examine the tops and soles of your feet and don’t forget to check between your toes. If you have questions about your risk of skin cancer on the feet, don’t hesitate to contact us.