Among the types of squamous cell carcinoma, Bowen’s disease is considered an early form since it primarily affects only the skin’s surface, causing a macula without entering other tissues; However, it can do so, and it is unlikely that it will become invasive. Anyone, regardless of their gender, can have this disease, but a higher incidence has been observed in people over 60 years of age and those who spend a lot of time exposed to the sun. The skin lesion that develops due to this type of carcinoma can be confused with other conditions. Still, it is essential that in the event of any alteration in your skin for no apparent reason, you consult your doctor since this tumor, although it grows slowly, tends to expand. For this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we want to inform you about Bowen’s disease: symptoms and treatment.
Bowen’s disease symptoms
The distinctive symptom of Bowen’s disease is the presence of a skin lesion or macula with well-defined edges, generally with a reddish coloration due to the accumulation of blood in the capillaries and with a scaly appearance, that is, with a detachment of skin sheets. Dead, although it can also have a warty appearance, which could be an advanced stage with the possibility of evolving to some carcinoma.
This skin lesion develops primarily on the head, neck, and extremities, although it may also appear on the palms, under or around the nail, genitals, or the anus. Although generally, only one macula is produced in the affected area, there is a probability that there are several nearby lesions that are slowly spreading throughout the outer layer of the skin.
Risk factors for Bowen’s disease
Although anyone can suffer from Bowen’s disease, some factors increase the possibility of developing this type of carcinoma, mainly:
- Continuous and prolonged exposure to sunlight and suffering from sunburn.
- I have undergone radiation treatments.
- Come into contact with certain chemicals, such as arsenic.
- Having the human papillomavirus.
- The immune system is weakened, mainly due to administering medications, other pathologies, such as infection and even leukemia, or after an organ transplant.
- Genetic predisposition: there is a history in the family of cases with this disease.
Treatment for Bowen’s disease
It is essential that before any stain or lesion appears on your skin for no apparent reason, you go to the dermatologist to make the correct diagnosis, especially if you present the characteristics of Bowen’s disease and to prevent it from continuing to grow.
There are several methods to treat Bowen’s disease. Still, there is not one that is efficient for all types of the macula, so your doctor will determine the one that best suits your condition, depending on the degree of injury and where you present.
One of the methods the doctor could follow to combat the macula if it is still tiny and has not invaded beyond the epidermis is cryosurgery, which consists of applying extreme cold using a substance, such as liquid nitrogen, on the injury to remove damaged cells.
Likewise, suppose the type of macula you present is superficial. In that case, the specialist may recommend using antineoplastic drugs or creams, which specialize in preventing the development and production of more cancer cells, such as those with 5-fluorouracil. Also, photodynamic therapy is an excellent option to treat these cases or lesions that have not expanded much. They inject a photosensitizing substance that remains longer in the cancer cells, and after 24 or 72 hours, the affected area is exposed to light, mainly laser, that will destroy these cells.
On the other hand, when the symptom of Bowen’s disease has spread a little more but has not deepened, the treatment they recommend is probably scraping and electrodesiccation; first, they scrape the area with the lesion and then apply electricity through a needle to eliminate affected cells.
Treatment for Bowen’s disease when it has already advanced and the skin lesion is more significant can include an excision, that is, it will cut the part of the tissue that has been affected and join the skin again, will make stitches, could also use skin graft if the tissue removed is extensive.
When Bowen’s disease cancer cells have superficially spread or even reached other internal tissues, the doctor may order radiation treatment to kill the damaged cells and shrink the tumor.
Mohs surgery is a very effective treatment to combat this type of carcinoma. However, it is a little more expensive than other methods; it consists of removing a layer of damaged skin at a time until signs of cancer are no longer observed; for this, they are examined under a microscope. It is widely used in large tumors or those that have reappeared and mainly in areas of the head.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.