Check Your Soles for Cancer, Too
Most of us know we should protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun to reduce our skin cancer risk. But according to researchers in Japan, mechanical stress—the daily wear-and-tear of walking and running—may increase the risk for dangerous melanoma on a part of the body that is seldom exposed to the sun—the bottoms of our feet.
However, other experts, including Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, question the study results. He stated, "The authors have provided us with useful and thought-provoking information, but whether stress is the cause of melanoma in these locations is unknown." More research is needed.
Nonetheless, checking the soles of the feet should be part of any skin cancer screening and skin check, especially in older people. Suspicious lesions, sores that don’t heal, and other lingering foot problems require further evaluation.