Skin cancer symptoms can vary depending on what type of skin cancer a person has. Melanoma skin cancer is considered a more serious skin cancer because it can spread to other organs in the body. The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole, according to the NHS.
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It adds: “This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women.
“Melanomas are uncommon in areas that are protected from sun exposure, such as the buttocks and the scalp.”
But it’s still possible for people of all races and colours to get melanoma on their feet.
For people of African or Asian ethnicity, the feet and hands are the most common places for melanoma to appear, says American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
AAD advises: “When the skin cancer develops on a foot, you may see the ABCDEs of melanoma.”
The ABCDEs of melanoma are in relation to spotting abnormal changes in moles – A stands for asymmetry, B for border, C for colour, D for diameter, and E for elevation or enlargement.
It adds: “But it’s also possible for a melanoma to have different features.”
Aside from looking like a changing mole, a melanoma on the foot can appear as a brown or black vertical line under a toenail.
AAD says melanoma beneath a nail can appear on the feet and hands and begin as a dark vertical line or lines.
Other signs to look out for on the feet include:
- Pinkish-red spot or growth
- New spot or growth where you injured your foot
- Rapidly growing mass on your foot, especially where you once injured your foot
- Non-healing sore on your foot (or a sore that heals and returns)
- Sore that looks like a diabetic ulcer
In some cases, melanoma on the foot feels painful bleeds or itches. The bleeding tends to stop and start.
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Melanoma sin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK with around 16,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
The NHS states: “More than 1 in 4 skin cancer cases are diagnosed in people under 50, which is unusually early compared with most other types of cancer.
“Over recent years, skin cancer has become much more common in the UK. This is thought to be the result of increased exposure to intense sunlight while on holiday abroad.
“More than 2,300 people die every year in the UK from melanoma.”
How to prevent melanoma
There is no sure way to prevent melanoma, according to American Cancer Society.
Some risk factors such as age, race and family history can’t be controlled, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it.
American Cancer Society recommends:
- Limiting your exposure too ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Seeking shade on a sunny day
- Wearing a shirt, a hat, suncream and wrap on sunglasses
- Avoiding using tanning beds and sunlamps
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