Checking out Suspicious Moles for Melanoma

We are in the sun season and this is a reminder to wear sunblock and hats to prevent skin cancer and precancerous lesions. Bob Marley’s story is a cautionary tale. loved playing soccer. He had a recurring sore nail on his right foot that kept falling off that was thought to related to playing soccer at first. The nail bed was slow to heal. He was diagnosed with acral melanoma in 1977 and was advised to A. Have the toe amputated or B. have the foot amputated. The cancer was stage 3/4, the most deadly. Bob decided to let it be and then many months later have the lesion cut out and a skin graft placed on it. By the time the cancer had affected him physically it had already metastasized all over his body and it was too late to treat him. He died in 1981.

If he had had at least the toe amputated on detection he would have extended his life probably for at least several years. A dark spot under the nail particularly in a darker pigmented person and particularly if it extends back to the cuticle is not something to be taken lightly. This can be a sign of a malignant melanoma. Melanomas can invade the skin or nail. Other signs include changes in size in a mole, changes in color and irregular borders. At Arlington Foot and Ankle Dr. Pearl is able to biopsy a suspicious mole to determine if it is cancerous or pre-cancerous. The pathology report generally takes about a week after the biopsy. After review a course of action can be determined. Don’t hesitate if something does not look right to have it evaluate.