Malignant Melanoma of the Foot and Ankle
Malignant melanoma of the foot and ankle is a cancer that is life-threatening that occurs on the foot and ankle. Malignant melanoma is often a deep lesion, and severity is based on how deep the lesion is. The range is about 0.75 mm all the way up to 4 mm for these lesions. The deeper the melanoma is, the more that melanoma extends into the dermis of the skin, and the greater the severity of the condition. Melanoma affects the cells in the skin that causes melanin. In one study performed at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, researchers analyzed the records of 60 patients with this condition. Lesions are usually asymmetrical with irregular borders, mixed colors, and grow over time. They found that 57 were white and 3 were black; there were 2.3 times as many women as men, and that most of them were diagnosed around the age of 57. This research appeared in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in America in September 1995. Cause Malignant melanoma, like other types of cancer, has many possible causes. Exposure to chemicals or toxins that cause cancer is a primary possible cause; so is deficiency of immune-system boosting nutrients such as zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C or selenium. Another cause of melanoma is radiation from the sun’s harmful rays. Treatment and Prevention A biopsy is a confirmatory test for the presence of melanoma. After a biopsy is done, treatment can be started and varies depending on the patient’s overall health condition. After five years, 63% were still alive. At the 10-year mark, 51% were still alive. If the melanoma is located on the plantar surface, the patient lived only 47 months, compared to melanoma located on the top of the foot or on the ankle – 6 years.