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Along with the blazing sun, higher gas prices, and ill-advised swimsuit choices, flip-flops signal the onset of the summer season. But look out, Birkenstock Bob and Sandal Sue: New research indicates that excessive flip-flop wearers are at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer on their feet. Even worse, only half of patients inflicted with foot melanomas survive, while four out of five victims survive melanoma that develops elsewhere on their legs.
Man, this news is going to hit La Jolla hard.
Strangely, foot melanomas (called acral melanomas) often develop on the soles of the feet and can quickly spread to the rest of the body, where they can become lethal. The cancers can be difficult to identify, and are often mistaken for bruises.
“Our feet are enclosed in shoes most of the year and then we pack our sandals for a holiday in very hot temperatures. This means feet are particularly susceptible to sunburn,” (said Dr. Anthony Kontos, head of the clinic at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth). “People are generally aware of checking other parts of their body for suspicious moles but they’re unlikely to examine their feet.”
Luckily, we can all take preventative measures that don’t involve wearing Doc Martens to the beach: Healthy, continuous slatherings of SPF-15 or higher sunblock can help keep you from turning your piggies into crispy bacon.
If you need any further motivation, consider that Bob Marley died from acral melanoma that started on his big toe, which he believed to be a simple soccer injury. By the time it was diagnosed, toe amputation was the only option. Marley refused on religious grounds, the cancer spread, and the world lost one of the greatest musicians ever.
I’m not saying you’re going to change the world with your music, but dunking your dogs in Coppertone before heading out into the sun in sandals probably isn’t a bad call.
— Ted Alvarez
Via The Goat