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Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ

(Bowen or Bowen's Disease; Intraepidermal Squamous Cell Carcinoma)

By

Vinod E. Nambudiri

, MD, MBA, EdM, Harvard Medical School

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2024
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Squamous cell carcinoma in situ (formerly called Bowen disease) most commonly occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin but may occur anywhere.

Diagnosis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ

  • 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 squamous cell carcinoma in situ. During this procedure, doctors remove a piece of the tumor and examine it under a microscope.

Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ

  • 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 chemotherapy 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.

Prevention of Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ

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
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