What is Bowen’s Disease and is it skin cancer?

Unfortunately, there are many weird and not so wonderful forms of skin cancer or, in this case, preludes to skin cancer.

You may have heard the term Bowen’s Disease but not associated it with skin cancer. Whilst it isn’t clinically defined as skin cancer, it is an early form of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) with approximately 3 in 100 developing into this. It’s therefore also referred to as Squamous Cell Carcinoma in situ.

Similar to an SCC, Bowen’s Disease starts in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) and is generally more superficial than SCC. Over time, however, and without treatment it can grow deeper, plant roots and may even metastasise.

Bowen’s Disease can be found anywhere on the body, but is more commonly found on the torso, arms and legs.

While extended sun exposure is one of the main causes of this disease, other irritants included immunosuppression, inflammatory skin conditions and previous skin injuries.

Interestingly, this disease is more predominant in women and most cases occur in people over 40 years of age.

Due to it’s appearance, Bowen’s Disease can easily be confused as eczema, psoriasis or even ring worm, as it presents as red, scaly patches with irregular outlines.

Many skin cancers once diagnosed can easily be treated, including Bowen’s Disease. The most important thing you can do is to get any skin abnormality checked by your doctor. From there, the best form of treatment can be prescribed and the healing can begin.

Bowens-Disease Just Skin    Bowen's disease Just Skin 2

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