Published on Nov 16, 2016, modified on Jun 7, 2019 by Dr. Solomon (Podiatrist), Manhattan Foot Specialists

Benign and Malignant Foot Tumors

Benign and Malignant Foot TumorsA tumor is defined as a swelling of tissue without any associated inflammation. It can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Tumors typically are caused by an abnormal growth in the tissue.

The vast majority of people with foot pain don’t have a foot or bone tumor. In fact, Manhattan podiatry doctors agree that bone tumors of the foot are rarely cancerous. It can happen, but cancer appears more commonly in other parts of the body.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 82 different foot lesions that can be benign or malignant. The most commonly affected areas for foot lumps are in your toes and dorsum of your feet. The heel is the least commonly affected area.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your local foot specialist or Dr. Solomon of Podiatry in New York for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Foot Cancer Is Rare

Bone tumors on your foot develop when cells abnormally grow within the bone. A tumor can replace healthy bone matter or it can weaken the bone and cause a fracture. Foot bone tumors comprise three to six percent of all bone tumors, making them extremely rare. They’re benign in 75 to 85 percent of cases, according to the American Journal of Orthopedics. Benign bone tumors typically appear as a lump with or without pain, whereas bone cancer is usually accompanied by localized pain in the vicinity of the tumor.

All symptoms and abnormal findings should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Cause of Tumors in Your Feet

While the causes of tumors are unknown, some conditions can cause soft-tissue masses to grow in your foot. These lumps can become malignant or benign tumors. These include:

A previous injury or trauma to your foot can create an infection. If left untreated, that infection can grow into a mass or tumor. Visit your New York foot doctor if a previous trauma to your foot is now showing redness, swelling or other signs of infection.

Symptoms of Foot Tumors

Tumors in the bone of your foot may be painless, but an injury can cause the tumor to begin hurting. Tumors that weaken bones can cause them to crack or break, which induces severe pain. In some cases, a lump may appear in conjunction with another symptom, such as a fever or night sweats.

The most common symptom and complaint of foot tumors is foot pain. It’s usually described as a dull ache where the tumor is located. And the pain isn’t always the result of a specific activity. Some people awaken during the night with intense foot pain. If a bone tumor is present, you can have any of the following symptoms as well:

  • Severe pain
  • Noticeable cosmetic issues. Often patients mistake bone spurs that form on joint or a bunion as it’s not always clear if the problem is a bunion. Bunions are not bone growths, rather they occur from a malalignment of the big toe joint causing the bone to push outwards. Bunion removal procedure commonly performed in our podiatric center by bunion surgeon Dr. Solomon involves repositioning the out-of-place bones.
  • Problems with footwear
  • Numbness or the feeling of paraesthesia (pins and needles)

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Diagnosis of Foot Tumors

When you suspect you may have a tumor of the foot, visit your NYC podiatrist. Your foot doctor examines you to rule out other issues like a stress fracture or infection. Only through an accurate diagnosis can you get effective treatment.

During your exam, your foot specialist in New York asks you detailed questions about your medical history, your general health, your genetic disposition, the medications you’re taking and your current symptoms. The physical exam focuses on the size, type, location, pain level and tenderness of the growth, as well as the range of motion in your foot.

If your podiatric doctor in NYC diagnoses a bone tumor, chances are it’s benign. The most common kinds of benign bone tumors are:

  • Simple bone cyst
  • Ostecochondroma
  • Enchondroma
  • Giant cell tumor

Cancerous Tumors

Cancer of the foot is rare, but should your bone tumor be malignant or cancerous, your NYC foot doctor asks you about metastatic issues — where the cancer travels from another part of your body to your foot. Some of the more common types of malignant bone tumors in feet include:

  • Osteosarcoma: This is the most common type of bone cancer. When it occurs in your foot, a podiatrist NYC can easily misdiagnose it. It usually occurs in adults. When it does appear in younger people, it typically shows up in other parts of the body. Osteosarcoma can occur in any foot bone, although it most commonly appears in your heel bone.
  • Ewing’s sarcoma: This is the type of foot bone cancer that children and adults up to the age of 20 can get. The tumor can be present for months before it’s large enough to produce swelling and pain. If this cancer is in your forefoot, you have a great chance of survival — with assistance from a good foot doctor in New York City — than if you have cancer in your heel area.
  • Chondrosarcoma: This is a type of cancer that grows from transformed cells in cartilage. It typically occurs in adults aged 40 through 70. Although it can form in the cartilage of your foot, it occurs more commonly in your femur, pelvis or shoulder.

Treatment of Benign Tumors

Some benign bone tumors may not require treatment at all, such as a benign bone tumor in a child. Benign tumors in children may resolve on their own, if given sufficient time. In these cases, the best treatment is simply monitoring the bone tumor.

Other benign bone tumors often can be treated with medication. If you have osteochondroma, however, you may need surgery. Surgically removing these tumors usually solves the issue, but tumors in your foot bone are liable to recur.

Treatment of Malignant Foot Tumors

If you have a cancerous bone tumor, your foot doctor in NYC may get you started on a combination of therapies that include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. In surgery, your foot surgeon often needs to remove some healthy tissue and bone around the tumor along with the tumor itself.

After surgery, your foot specialist in NYC may replace the bone that’s removed with a bone transplant or a metallic implant. This procedure is known as limb salvage surgery. Amputating your foot is necessary only in advanced cases of bone cancer, and it’s a treatment your foot doctor in NYC tries very hard to avoid.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult a foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Benign and Malignant Ankle or Foot Tumors? If you would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top rated podiatrist in NYC Dr. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for a consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 389-9918

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a foot doctor or call our office today and schedule a consultation with the leading foot surgeon Dr. Sophia Solomon.