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Posts for tag: Skin Cancer

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 23, 2018
Category: Skin Cancer
Tags: Skin Cancer  

This weekend marks the official start of summer and we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients will be heading off to the Jersey shore to kick off the season. It’s a good time for us to recognize Skin Cancer Awareness Month and ensure that you know how to have fun in the sun and keep the skin on your feet safe at the same time. Follow the do’s and don’ts below for maximum protection.

Don’t: get a “base tan” using indoor tanning machines. People who use indoor tanning beds are 74% more likely to get melanoma than those who don’t. Indoor tanning also increases the risk of other forms of skin cancer.

Do: use a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply every two hours and immediately after swimming.

Don’t: forget to apply sunscreen to your feet even if you are not at the beach or pool but you are wearing open shoes and spending the day outside.

Do: be extra careful if you are fair-skinned. People with light skin have an increased risk of skin cancer and even one bad sunburn raises your risk of skin cancer in the future.

Don’t: skip your feet when conducting a monthly skin check for suspicious looking moles and lesions. Check the top and bottom of your feet as well as between your toes. Too often skin cancer on the feet is not caught until it is at an advanced stage because people don’t think to check there.

Do: know the signs of a potentially malignant mole or spot:

                Asymmetrical—if you drew a line down the center of mole both sides would not look the same

                Border—irregular, notched or scalloped borders on a lesion

                Color—moles that are multi-colored and mottled in appearance

                Diameter—moles that are bigger than the width of a pencil eraser

                Evolving—any changes, such as a mole bleeding, crusting over or itchy as well as anything

                different in the appearance of the lesion (size, color, shape, etc.) is cause for concern.

If you have noticed anything unusual about the skin on your feet or have questions about skin cancer, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can take a look and determine if further testing is needed.

The sun is shining and it’s finally getting warm out! You know what that means...barbecues with the neighbors, going to the beach, and hitting the links with your friends. It also means your skin is being exposed to sun and the littlest amount of sunlight is all it takes. With sun exposure means proper skin protection and who else better to vouch for that than actor Hugh Jackman of the hit movie series X-Men. Hugh Jackman has had his bouts with skin cancer, and recently had cancer removed on his nose. Even though it was on his nose, it’s safe to say you can get cancer anywhere; including your feet!

First, the most important tip is to wear proper sunscreen. One thing people don’t realize is, even when it’s cloudy out you can still get sunburns. Before you plan on doing anything that involves being outside for extended periods of time apply a layer or two of no-less than SPF-30 sunscreen. This will help protect you from the sun and keep your skin healthy.

Second, if you do notice something “different” with your skin, get it checked early! Skin on the feet is equally as important as skin on the rest of your body and the podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ are here to make sure your skin is in tip-top shape. However, not only does cancer like your skin, it also likes your toenails. So, again, if you notice any changes in your skin or toenails, do not hesitate to make an appointment at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care today.

Lastly, don’t let the sun deter you from going outside. Sun can also be a good thing as it provides your body with an extra source of vitamin D which is needed for strong healthy bones. As always, though, if you do plan on spending a day at the beach or playing 18 holes, please remember to protect you and your skin and wear sunscreen. Hugh Jackman said it, “Tell your readers: get check-ups, wear sunscreen. It’s all about prevention.”

 By Varun Gujral

 

By Varun Gujral
April 03, 2014
Category: Melanoma

We've all had that moment when we see a new little brown spot on our skin.  "What is that?” we ask.  In the back of your mind, you're wondering, "is that cancer? Do I need to go to the doctor?"  The answer to these questions is simple and difficult. 

As summer approaches, outdoor activity explodes.  This is a great thing but also brings about increased sun exposure.  A tan is something that has a high value to many and laying out in the sun is both relaxing and gives you a beautiful glow.  But, beware of melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers

Thousands of people are diagnosed with melanoma every year.  A melanoma is a growth of the cells in your skin that produce the melanin pigment.  These cells are called melanocytes and they give your skin the color that you enjoy.  When exposed to rays of the sun they can become damaged and grow out of control.  Melanomas are so dangerous because when they start to grow out of control, they spread very quickly and can become invasive without proper removal.

So how do you know if that spot is cancer?  The first warning sign is new growth.  If you notice something that wasn't there previously then it means that something new is growing there.  If it is getting larger then it is worrisome and you should head to the doc ASAP.  If you can't remember if it’s new or how big it is then use the tried and true ABCDE evaluation method.  If the spot has two or more of the qualities below then it needs to be checked by a professional.

A – asymmetry: if it has an irregular shape                                                                                                                          

B – borders: irregular, variable, unsmooth, or jagged borders

C – color: the color is variable and changes throughout the lesion

D – diameter: greater than 6mm in diameter

E – enlarging or evolving: changing over time

Because melanoma can spread rapidly it is important to check your body often.  The longer a tumor has to grow the more dangerous it becomes.  A month can make the difference between life and death.

Lastly, I must urge you to pay attention to your feet.  Cancers commonly develop on your feet because for some reason people often forget to put sunscreen on their feet.  This summer, don't be afraid to smear on the sunscreen and smear it often.  Your skin will thank you.

If you notice any lesions on your feet then please bring them to the attention of your local podiatrist.  Don't wait; make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ today.

 

By Varun Gujral

By Varun Gujral
September 12, 2013
Category: Melanoma

September is pediatric cancer awareness month! In honor of this month we are going to talk about what types of cancer can be seen in the pediatric foot. The most commonly seen form of cancer is skin cancer and a less common form is bone cancer. When it comes to skin cancer many of us don’t think to look at the skin on our feet, mostly because they are covered up with shoes a majority of the time! However in the summer months kids are running around barefoot or in sandals, exposing their skin to the UV light from the sun. Seeing skin cancer on the feet is not very common and seeing it in a child is even less common, however it does happen.

When inspecting your child’s feet it is important to look for the following signs that indicate a possible melanoma. Look for a mole or freckle, check its color, shape and edges, symmetry and if it is bumpy or not. Skin cancer is typically a raised, multicolored, asymmetrical, irregular shaped mole. A melanoma can sometimes also occur under a nail. If this happens the nail will look discolored, usually a dark color, and could be tender.

If you notice a weird looking mole on your child’s feet take them to your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ. One of our podiatrists will take a small sample of the mole to test and see if it is cancer. When it comes to something like skin cancer it is important to get strange things checked out right away, it is always better to be safe than sorry; and when it comes to your child’s health no hesitation should be taken.

For the parent, here a few tips to help keep your child’s skin healthy! Always use sunscreen with a high SPF, make sure to cover all skin, even the tops of their feet if wearing sandals. And even better than sunscreen for the feet is wearing shoes that cover their feet. Either way the UV rays will be blocked from your child’s skin!

By Varun Gujral

When people think of skin cancer they think of the arms, back and legs; but what about the feet? Yes, you can get skin cancer on your feet even though it seems like a very unlikely place for it to occur! Most skin cancer on the foot goes undetected for far too long and ends up being detrimental to the patient; this is because many dermatologists don’t think to check there in their exam! However your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care are well trained to inspect the foot thoroughly for any form of skin cancer.

Skin cancer on the foot doesn’t always follow the normal definitions of skin cancer; this is why it is usually undetected. Over 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, but the actual number is a lot higher than that due to so many undiagnosed cases. They can look like birth marks, ingrown toe nails or even a nail fungal infection! Yes you can develop skin cancer under your nails! It is important to check your feet every so often and look for anything that isn’t normal.

When inspecting your foot check the top, bottom, nails and between the toes. Look for any dark marks on the skin, under the nails or next to the nails. A majority of the time it’s nothing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The symptoms to look for when inspecting include, itching, burning feeling, cracking, bleeding or open wounds. If you do notice anything like this on your feet do not hesitate to make an appointment with your podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care, located in Edison and Monroe NJ, to get it checked out! They can take a biopsy if they think the discoloration is concerning and figure out what’s going on!

By Nrupa Shah