Suspicious lumps and bumps can be quite concerning, and if you notice any unusual growths or bumps on your feet or ankles, we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our board-certified podiatrists at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists.
In the meantime, we created this guide to shed light on the common myths and facts regarding foot and ankle tumors.
Myth 1: All tumors are cancerous
False! Not all tumors are cancerous. The word “tumor” can conjure fear of cancer quickly, but in fact, most foot and ankle tumors are not cancerous.
The most common types of benign tumors that affect the feet and ankles are:
- Ganglion cysts, which develop in fatty tissue
- Giant cell tumors of the tendon sheath, which are painful bumps that grow on the soles of your feet and toes
- Plantar fibromas, which are small nodules that develop in the fibrous tissue of your plantar fascia
- Mucous cysts, which develop near your toe joint
While benign tumors are more common than malignant foot tumors, it’s still possible for cancerous tumors to develop in your feet.
The most common malignant (cancerous) tumors in your feet/ankles are related to Ewing’s sarcoma, which can cause bone tumors to develop. In people over the age of 40, chondrosarcoma is the most common malignant foot tumor.
We know the thought of a tumor can be overwhelming, but don’t put off an appointment (even if the bump doesn’t cause pain). Getting a proper diagnosis is pivotal in getting the right treatment quickly. Once we determine what type of tumor or cyst you have, we can suggest the appropriate treatments.
Myth 2: You can’t get tumors on your feet
False! Tumors and cysts can develop anywhere on your body, although you might not notice lumps and bumps on your feet if they are slow-growing. Inspect your feet daily for any suspicious changes, including growths, bumps, and sores. If you notice any pain when walking, don’t brush it off. Some tumors don’t cause pain, but some do.
Myth 3: The only way to treat tumors is surgery
False! There are many treatment options, but the type of treatment you need depends on many factors, including what type of tumor you have and where it’s located.
Our team may suggest any of the following tumor treatments:
- Draining fluid-filled cysts, such as a ganglion cyst
- Steroid injections, which can help shrink tumors
- Cryotherapy, which uses cold energy to freeze the tumor
- Surgical removal of the tumor
If you have a malignant tumor, we can refer you to an oncologist, a medical doctor who specializes in treating cancer.
Myth 4: Tumors don’t cause pain
This is only partly false. Some tumors can cause pain while others don’t cause any pain. A lot depends on where the tumor is located.
For example, a ganglion cyst can cause pain if it grows and presses on a nerve. Plantar fibromas may not hurt at first, but as the lump gets bigger, walking (and your shoes rubbing on it) can cause pain and discomfort.
But even if lumps and bumps don’t cause pain, it’s still essential to get an accurate diagnosis.
To learn more about foot and ankle tumors, contact us at the location of your choice to get the answers you need. We have offices in Tamarac, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Hollywood, Florida.