What is the survival rate for melanoma of the foot?

James P. Ioli, DPM
Podiatric Medicine
Since melanoma of the foot is usually noticed late by patients, and more likely to be misdiagnosed by doctors than melanoma in any other location, it typically isn't recognized and treated until it has advanced or metastasized to other parts of the body, which makes prognosis for survival poor.

Studies have consistently linked melanoma of the foot with a lower than average survival rate (the survival rate for melanoma anywhere else on the body is 80% to 85%). One study that looked at survival followed 148 patients with melanoma originating on a lower extremity. The malignant lesion was located on the foot or ankle in 37 participants, and on the leg, knee, or thigh of 111 patients. The overall survival rate was 52% for patients with a primary melanoma of the foot or ankle, compared with 84% for patients with a melanoma located elsewhere on the leg. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), half of all people diagnosed with melanoma of the foot will die within five years because of late diagnosis.

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