Michigan residents may not be aware that the feet are susceptible to cancer, but they are. Not all cancers are the result of sun exposure, after all. Some arise because of genetics, viruses or exposure to certain chemicals. Below are three common types of cancer that attack the feet.

Basal cell carcinoma, one of the least aggressive forms of cancer, does come about from sun exposure. They appear on the feet and lower legs as benign ulcers or tumors, and they rarely spread beyond the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of foot cancer, can be aggressive when it reaches an advanced stage. Its appearance is that of a scaly bump or plaque that, while it does not hurt, frequently becomes itchy. It may crack and bleed, though.

The third and most aggressive cancer is malignant melanoma. Patients may get this on the top or the soles of their feet and even under the toenail. It will look like a mole or bump but with unique traits like an asymmetrical appearance, ragged edges and a mixture of colors like brown and pink. A podiatrist can determine if patients have cancer through a skin biopsy and other examinations. In the case of malignant melanoma, early detection is absolutely essential; unfortunately, no non-surgical treatments can effectively treat it.

Cancer misdiagnoses are one of the most frequently cited reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits claims. Malignant melanoma, in particular, can be easily misdiagnosed. Known as “The Great Masquerader,” it can mimic so many different conditions. Still, there are cases where doctors may be to blame for their error, and those who feel they were injured as a result of negligence may want to discuss their situation with an attorney.