Can You Get Cancer on Your Feet?


Just like other parts of your body, your feet and ankles are susceptible to cancer, but you don’t often hear much talk about foot cancer. The most common type of cancer to strike the feet is skin cancer. Many tumors or growths that appear on the feet are benign but some skin cancers can be aggressive and spread to other parts of the body in a process called metastasis. Cancerous lesions on the feet can take on the appearance of warts and other skin abnormalities so see your foot doctor right away for proper identification and treatment.


The 3 most common types of skin cancer that affect the feet are:

  • Melanoma—This is a less common form of cancer, but when this type of cancer becomes malignant (cancer causing) it can spread rapidly through the blood as cancerous pieces of skin break off into blood stream.
  • Basal cell carcinoma—This cancer grows rather slowly, and it may first appear as a pink or white bump with a waxy surface that can look just like a wart. As it grows, it may become covered with a bleeding crusty covering, without causing any pain.

Squamous cell carcinoma—Squamous cells are in the upper layer of the skin, and when they are invaded by cancer, the appearance of a horn sticking up from the skin is often seen.

Always be careful to check for growths or unusual swelling on your feet and bring them to the attention of your foot specialist for further perusal. Noticing skin cancer early is essential to getting the aggressive treatment that halts the progression. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.