It’s that time of year to knock your socks off and enjoy a little fun in the sun in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach and the Ponte Vedra Beach area!!! That also makes it a good time for annual physical examinations (aka "annuals") essential for maintaining a clean bill of health. Despite this, yearly foot exams by a qualified foot and ankle specialist are an important aspect of the "annual" that is often bypassed. But when a doctor's trained eye isn't nearby, it's your very own inspection that could save your life. The next time you clip your toenails or lace up some shoes, take a closer look at your feet. Via an initiative appropriately named “Knock Your Socks Off”, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) recommend routine self-exams to focus on the most common areas of the foot for melanoma (malignant skin cancer) to appear:
- The soles
- Between the toes
- Around or under toenails
Routine self-examinations of the feet are an easy way to find skin cancer early, when it’s easiest to cure. Need more motivation??
- Nearly 50% of those who learn they have melanoma of the foot die within five years because the cancer has already spread to other parts of their body by the time it is diagnosed.
- Approximately 65,000 people will learn they have melanoma this year.
- It's difficult to estimate how many of those cases will involve the foot, but more than 8,000 will die.
- If detected in its earliest stages, 92% of melanoma patients are alive after five years.
Unlike many other types of cancer, melanoma strikes people of all age groups, even the young. Routine self-exams of the feet increase the likelihood of noticing suspicious moles, freckles or other spots. If a mole, freckle, or spot on your foot starts to change over the course of a month and becomes asymmetrical or changes its border, color, diameter or elevation, contact Dr. Reddy immediately. The First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic provides professional, routine foot care services for patients with certain medical conditions that place them at high risk for developing foot problems and complications, such as: - Poor circulation - Peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation) - Bleeding disorders - Diabetes We encourage those individuals without the above medical conditions to schedule a routine podiatric wellness exam! Either it be yourself of someone you love let the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic keep your feet safe this summer and year round!