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Bowen Disease

(Intraepidermal Squamous Cell Carcinoma)

by Gregory L. Wells, MD

Bowen disease is a superficial squamous cell carcinoma in situ.

Bowen disease is most common in sun-exposed areas but may arise at any location. Lesions can be solitary or multiple. They are red-brown and scaly or crusted, with little induration; they frequently resemble a localized thin plaque of psoriasis, dermatitis, or a dermatophyte infection. Diagnosis is by biopsy.

Treatment depends on the tumor’s characteristics and may involve topical chemotherapy, curettage and electrodesiccation, surgical excision, or cryosurgery.

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