The Stapleton family in Hastings, Minnesota, has learned their newborn son, Marek, is suffering from a rare form of cancer.
When the new parents brought Marek home from the hospital, his mom Krissy noticed that his left foot was just a little larger than his right foot. After a few days, she had the doctors look at it and they thought it was just a sprain.
Unfortunately, the foot continued to grow larger. After two more weeks, doctors thought the symptoms might indicate a vascular malformation. An ultrasound seemed to confirm the diagnosis, and the Stapletons were sent to an oncologist to treat the tumor, which was thought to be non-cancerous. At five weeks, the foot was still growing and the skin had become taught and shiny, so they scheduled a follow-up visit. Krissy said it was growing so quickly that she was afraid the skin was going to break.
After another week, the foot was even bigger. It had become discolored and had developed stress lines. The parents took Marek to the local hospital emergency room, where several doctors tried to get a look at his foot, saying it was something they had never seen before. Krissy made an appointment at the Mayo Clinic, where a biopsy and ultrasound tests allowed doctors to determine that Marek actually had a soft tissue sarcoma called infantile fibrosarcoma. It's a rare disorder—only about seven in one million infants are affected by it—and it is the most treatable of the three types of soft tissue sarcomas.
Since the diagnosis, Marek has undergone chemotherapy and Krissy says his foot is getting softer. Unfortunately, doctors are going to have to amputate the baby's foot. Simply removing the tumor would be impossible because of how many tendons and ligaments run right through the middle of it.
Tumors and cancers of the foot are some of the most tragic children's foot health problems (Link to Children's Feet PRACTICE AREA page). Such ailments are rare and often treatable, but early diagnosis is essential for the best outcomes. If you notice something unusual about your infant or toddler's feet, you should not delay in hope that the problem will get better on its own. Call Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, Arizona, at 623-584-5556 to schedule an appointment with a skilled foot doctor.