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Bowen Disease

(Bowen's Disease; Intraepidermal Squamous Cell Carcinoma)

By

Gregory L. Wells

, MD, Ada West Dermatology and Dermatopathology

Medically Reviewed Sep 2022
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Bowen disease most commonly occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin but may occur anywhere.

Diagnosis of Bowen Disease

  • Biopsy

A biopsy Biopsy Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more Biopsy is the standard procedure for confirming the diagnosis of Bowen disease. During this procedure, doctors remove a piece of the tumor and examine it under a microscope.

Prevention of Bowen Disease

Because squamous cell carcinomas seem to be related to UV exposure, doctors recommend a number of measures to limit UV exposure, starting in early childhood:

Treatment of Bowen Disease

  • Removal of the cancer

Doctors may remove the cancer in the office by scraping and burning it with an electric needle (a procedure called curettage and electrodesiccation) or by cutting it out. Doctors may destroy the cancer by applying extreme cold (cryosurgery), an electrical current (electrocautery), or a chemotherapy drug Chemotherapy and Other Systemic Cancer Treatments Systemic treatments are those that have effects throughout the body rather than being applied directly to the cancer. Chemotherapy is a form of systemic treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer... read more to the skin.

More Information

The following English-language resources may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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