We are told over and over that the dangerous skin cancer melanoma is caused by too much sun exposure. But I have reported to you before the evidence against this. And common sense points to the conclusion. That's because most cases of melanoma happen to parts of the skin that rarely get any sun. One example is melanoma on the base of the foot. So if sun is not causing these cases, what is? A new study looked at the answer to this question.
The researchers looked at 54 men and 69 women who had developed melanomas on the bottoms of their feet. Their average age was 73.5 years. Then the researchers plotted out where the cancers were on the feet. The results are interesting: 40% of the cancers were on the rear of the foot; 26% were in the front of the foot; 11% were in the midfoot; and only 2.4% were in the arch. The authors noted that the likelihood of developing a melanoma on the bottom of the foot was directly related to how much pressure was placed on that part of the foot. This happens to be the same thing we see when looking at where diabetics get their foot ulcers.
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Here's what the authors of the study had to say. “Although trauma and other factors increase the risk of melanoma in regions of the skin that are not exposed to the sun, we found that the conditions of the rear of the foot and front of the foot were more conducive to the development of melanomas than other areas of the plantar surface [bottom of the foot]. Mechanical stress such as plantar pressure and shear stress is higher in these two areas than in other areas of the foot, and this stress is associated with the development of skin ulcers in persons with diabetes and with the development of calluses. Taken together with these observations, our results suggest that mechanical stress also increases the formation of melanomas on the plantar surface.”
So I guess the best way to avoid melanomas on your feet is to spend the rest of your life in bed. Or how about walking on your hands? Oh, no, that won't work. You'd just get melanomas on the hands instead. So what to do?
Let me suggest this. I have reported to you in the past that there are more than a few studies that show that statistically the biggest single risk for melanoma is the standard American diet. The authors of the above study refer to this as one of the “other factors.” So let me suggest that you avoid the “standard” diet and eat a diet low in processed foods, high in fiber and protein, and low in sugars and simple carbohydrates. And just to be on the safe side, take a scoop of my Super Immune QuickStart powder every day. It's full of the special herbs and nutrients that support your body's ability to avoid cancer altogether.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Minagawa A, Omodaka T, et al. Melanomas and Mechanical Stress Points on the Plantar Surface of the Foot. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jun 16;374(24):2404-6.