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  • Writer's pictureIvan Bristow

May is melanoma awareness month!

May is here and it seems the weather may be improving here in the UK but remember May is melanoma awareness month. As podiatrists we know that melanoma can and does arise on the foot. Consequently, we need to remain vigilant and check our patients’ feet for any suspicious lesions.

Feet sticking out of the window of a moving car
Summer is coming!

Melanoma is a topic on which I have published [1-9]. In 2008, I began working with Dr Katharine Acland, Consultant Dermatologist at St Thomas Hospital in London. It came about as a result of a coffee break conversation about how patients with melanoma on their feet did not have such a good prognosis as melanoma elsewhere on the skin. Late recognition and diagnosis was an issue. What started as a six-week audit, ended up as several publications focussing on melanoma and the foot. The articles aimed at increasing practitioners awareness of melanoma and how it may present on the foot.

I am pleased to say that that these papers have been useful. The clinical guidelines for the recognition of melanoma of the foot and nail unit has been the most downloaded article in the history of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research with over 270K views and downloads and numerous citations. The paper has also been translated into several languages. In total, the suite of 4 melanoma papers in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research has been viewed/downloaded over 350K times.


Below are links to all the papers.


A screenshot an an academic paper
Bristow & Acland (2008)

Acral lentiginous melanoma of the foot and ankle: A case series and review of the literature


Bristow & De Berker (2010)


Bristow et al., (2010)


Finally, as a result of this work, I produced a clinical poster for podiatrists to act as an aide memoire for recognising and referring melanoma. This can be downloaded here.

The papers are over 14 years old now and need an update! In the next year or two I will be looking to revise this work and continue to publish on this topic.

Spotting a melanoma early can save a life!



1.           Bristow I, Acland K: Acral lentiginous melanoma of the foot: a review of 27 cases. J Foot Ankle Res 2008, 1:11.

2.           Bristow I, Acland K: 37 cases of acral lentiginous melanoma (poster). 37 cases of acral lentiginous melanoma (poster) (British Association of Dermatology Annual Meeting); 2009.

3.           Bristow I, Bower C: Melanoma of the Foot. Clin Podiatr Med Surg 2016, 33:409-422.

4.           Bristow I, de Berker D: Development of a practical guide for the early recognition of malignant melanoma of the foot and nail unit. J Foot Ankle Res 2010, 3.

5.           Bristow I, Metcalfe S: Case report. Acral lentiginous melanoma or diabetic foot ulcer? Diabetic Foot Journal 2008, 11:28-31.

6.           Bristow IR: Malignant melanoma of the foot - early detection. Podiatry Now 2018, 21:S1-S8.

7.           Bristow IR, Bowling J: Dermoscopy as a technique for the early identification of foot melanoma: a review. J Foot Ankle Res 2009, 2.

8.           Bristow IR, Dalton A: Case Study. A late diagnosis of nail melanoma arising in the hallux. Podiatry Now 2013, 16:21-23.

9.           Bristow IR, de Berker DA, Acland KM, Turner RJ, Bowling J: Clinical guidelines for the recognition of melanoma of the foot and nail unit. J Foot Ankle Res 2010, 3.


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