Why Bob Marley needed a Podiatrist? May Is Skin Cancer Month!

Very few celebrities do I consider worth the public’s praise. Most overindulge in lavishness and ruin their god-given talents by destroying their bodies through drugs and riotous living. Although he was far from perfect, Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley is one of the few celebrity figures I admire.

Why am I bringing up Bob Marley? May is skin cancer awareness month and May 11th marks the 32nd anniversary of Marley’s death. Marley succumbed to a type of cancer that was first identified underneath one of his toenails.

In 1977 his toenail was identified as having acral lentiginous melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can display in the feet and toes. It was originally thought that the discolored, red toenail was due to a football injury earlier that year. This was refuted and identified to be a skin lesion from an already existing cancer. Marley was encouraged to have his toe amputated to prevent any further spread of the disease. Marley declined such treatment citing religious beliefs. At this point in the legend’s life, he was world famous and was traveling all over Europe and the U.S. on tours. One of my favorite songs “Redemption Song” is said to be Marley’s coming to terms with the end of his life. Marley’s final concert was in Pittsburg, PA in September 1980 before his health deteriorated and he sought cancer treatment in Germany. For 8 months he battled cancer without success. At terms with his mortality, Marley boarded a plane for Jamaica. On May 11th, 1981, while en route to his homeland, Marley’s vital signs deteriorated and his plane was forced to land in Miami, Florida. The cancer had spread to his lungs and brain. At 36 years old, the Reggae Rastafarian died. His final words to his son Ziggy were, “Money can’t buy life”.

The importance of taking care of each and every little health concern is of utmost importance. Even something as lowly as the foot can merit some attention. An amputated toe could’ve extended the life and legacy of Bob Marley.

For many Podiatry patients today, the risk of amputation remains high. It must be understood that amputation can often avoid further complications, poor quality of life and even death. With modern prosthetic and biomechanic advancements, amputation of digits, feet and limbs doesn’t require major lifestyle changes. Many patients can carry on with their everyday life with small and simple changes.

Marley attempted to sing the music OF the people, not for the people. He wanted to be the voice of many. There are many things he represented that I do not agree with, but his unmatched sound, style and stance make him worthy of tribute.

If you are concerned about skin cancer or have dark nails contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or for online appointments go to www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Health

Tags: Amputation, Bob Marley, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Skin Problems, Toenail Problems