Bob Marley’s Birthday – A lesson on Myeloma

Bob Marley This month marks the birthday of Jamaica’s most prominent citizen.  The musician Bob Marley used his music to arise from humble beginnings in his country to world renowned fame.  While not everyone can say they are big fans of reggae music, few amongst us would not immediately recognize the beats of ‘One Love’ or ‘I Shot the Sheriff”.  It has been almost 31 years since Bob Marley died at the young age of 36 due to cancer. Some types of cancer, such as breast and prostate, receive a lot of publicity and you have regular health screenings to detect them.  Many other types of cancer are less emphasized, melanomas on your feet fall into that category. This was the type of cancer that affected this musician.

Subungal malignant melanoma is the medical term for the type of cancer that results from pigment cells underneath your nail.  Sun damaged skin can increase the risk of melanocytes, or the cells that produce pigment, to grow uncontrolled.  Too often we may not notice or ignore small discolorations under our nails or on our feet.  It doesn’t hurt, so it can’t be that bad, right?  When dealing with this type of cancer, nothing could be further from the truth.  Melanoma lesions are often painless and some of the most dangerous types of soft tissue cancer.  Any type of discoloration that grows with the nails, leaving a stripe, or begins at the base of your nails is highly suspicious for melanoma.

With any type of cancer in any part of your body, early detection is vital to successful treatment and resolution. We urge you to keep regular appointments with all our doctors.  Any suspicious changes to your nails should be seen by your Austin podiatrist.   One of the first things your podiatry physician may do to any discoloration or suspicious lesion is to take a small biopsy.  By taking a small sample and identifying the types of cells present, the best and most definitive treatment can be given. As you can see from Bob Marley, getting the proper treatment can be a life or death decision.

Until next time, keep those feet happy and cancer free Austin!

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by bob marley quotes February 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM
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