Posted on November 16, 2020
How does cancer affect the foot?
Cancer is described as should there be an abnormal excessive growth of any tissue. So does or will cancer affect the foot? Of course it does, as the foot has all the same tissues as other areas of the body. Cancer in the foot is rather infrequent, but when it does occur it has the potential to be serious since it is often missed or wrongly diagnosed as a condition not so critical. There are two types of cancer that are able to affect the foot. One is where the cancer arises in the foot, so this could possibly be in the any tissue from the skin to the bone to joint or the tendons to the nerves or the blood vessels. Since the foot is a weight-bearing part of the body and has many things which can go wrong an extremely high index of suspicion is needed to distinguish one of these primary cancers from what could be thought to be a regular and frequent foot condition. This is the reason the expertise of a good experienced clinician is required to take care of foot disorders and to exclude one of these more sometimes significant disorders that are unusual.
The other type of cancer that might affect the foot is a metastasis or a spread of the cancer from another area of the body. This cancer may well be already be clinically diagnosed and may spread to the foot where it causes pain in the foot. Alternatively the cancer may start developing in another area of the body and it is un-diagnosed there and it sends a metastasis or propagates to the foot to cause pain in the foot. This is very uncommon however when it can happen it is extremely serious because it typically signifies that the first cancer is well established. It also creates a diagnostic dilemma for the clinician who is trying to diagnose the real reason for the pain in the foot. Again, a really high index of suspicion and instinct is needed by the clinician to pick this up in the first stages. The earlier that these types of cancers are identified the better the end result is likely to be.