During the summer you are probably exposing your feet to the potentially harmful rays of the sun a lot more than usual. You might be spending more time outdoors and in sandals. Hopefully you are remembering to wear that all-important sunscreen, and even if you are it’s still a good idea to check your feet daily for any signs of foot cancer. Melanoma can strike hard and fast, so being able to catch it early is crucial.

One of the deadliest types of cancer is melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer. It can hide anywhere on the body, even in places you might not expect. Your feet are a perfect example of this because they are down at the bottom and you might neglect to apply sunscreen every day. During the summer they are more exposed and can become sunburned very easily because the skin is so thin. It’s a really good idea to check your feet every day just to make sure your moles look healthy and normal. Melanoma can become a very big problem very quickly, so early detection is absolutely essential in fighting it. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are two other types of skin cancer, but they are far less aggressive than melanoma.

When you check your moles remember your ABCDE’s.

  • A=Asymmetry. Normal moles are symmetrical, while melanoma has sides that don’t match.
  • B=Borders. Healthy moles have smooth edges, whereas a cancerous mole has jagged borders.
  • C=Color. Your moles should be dark brown in color and all one shade. If they have varying colors it could be a cause for concern.
  • D=Diameter. A regular old mole is usually smaller than the eraser of a pencil.
  • E=Evolving. Moles typically stay the same over time. If they are changing rapidly you might want to get it checked out.

If you notice any of these symptoms don’t hesitate to call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to book an appointment in one of our three conveniently located office locations: Lowell, North Andover, or Haverhill. A trip to see us could just save your life.