3 Risk Factors for Foot Cancer


Yes, you can get skin cancer on your feet and under your toenails even though your feet don’t tend to get too much UV exposure. Since skin cancer can look a lot like other skin conditions including moles, warts, blisters, and toenail fungus, it is essential to have an evaluation performed at your foot doctor’s office.

Factors that may increase your chances of getting cancer on your feet and ankles include the following:

  • It’s in your genes—People who have inherited light, freckled skin, light hair, and blue eyes have less melanin in their tissues which can increase the damage caused by excessive sun and chemical exposure.

  • Environmental toxins—Poisons in the environment from power plant emissions, motor vehicle exhaust, and other chemical pollutants can create mutations in your DNA that may unleash a cancerous growth.

  • Immune system dysfunction—HPV and HIV infections may cause immune system degradation from some of the therapies, and skin cancer may be more active and prevalent. Recent organ transplant recipients also have lowered immune response and are more susceptible to developing malignant tumors.

It is essential to have any foot lesions or toenail abnormalities evaluated by your foot doctor to rule out skin cancer as the cause. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, Gregory Cook, DPM, and Huy L. Nguyen, DPM provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.