News

Bowen's Disease

 What is Bowen’s disease?

Bowen’s disease is also known as intraepidermal squamous cell carcinoma, and is a growth of cancerous cells that is confined to the outer layer of the skin. It is not a serious condition, and its importance rests on the fact that, occasionally, it can progress into an invasive skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). For this reason, dermatologists usually treat, or at least keep an eye on, Bowen's disease.

What causes Bowen’s disease?

Most cases of Bowen’s disease develop as a result of long-term sun exposure. Very occasionally, Bowen’s disease may be seen in the context of previous radiotherapy, following chronic arsenic ingestion (very rare nowadays) or on the genitalia in association with the virus that causes warts (the human papillomavirus). Bowen's disease is neither infectious, nor due to an allergy.

Is it hereditary?

No, it is not; but some of the factors that increase the risk of getting it, such as a fair skin and a tendency to burn in the sun, do run in families.

What are its symptoms?

Often there are no symptoms, although the surface crusting may catch on clothing.

What does it look like?

A patch of Bowen’s disease starts as a small red scaly area, which grows very slowly. It may reach a diameter of a few centimetres across. It commonly occurs on sun-exposed skin, especially the head, hands and lower legs. More than one lesion may be present. The development of an ulcer or lump on a patch of Bowen’s disease may indicate the formation of invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

How will it be diagnosed?

A patch of Bowen’s disease can look rather like other skin conditions, such as psoriasis. For this reason a biopsy may be needed to make the diagnosis.

Can it be cured?

Yes. As Bowen’s disease is confined to the surface of the skin, there are a variety of ways in which this can be achieved.

For available treatments please visit this page on the website of the Briitsh Association of Dermatologists

 

Why donate to us?

There are eight million people living with a skin disease in the UK. Some are manageable, others are severe enough to kill. We are here to help change that.

We raise money to fund research for cures for skin disease and skin cancer, but research doesn't fund itself.

We are the UK's only charity dedicated to skin research, and all of our donations and fundraising events are crucial to enabling us to continue our work.

We have supported more than 260 research projects and awarded more than £8m in funding across all skin diseases including eczema, psoriasis and many more.

Every penny raised or donated by you goes straight into funding research, so help us find a cure today.

 

Spartan Race 
August, September, October 2014
 

Three Peaks Challenge September 2014

Euro City Cycling ChallengeSeptember 2014

Thames Path ChallengeSeptember 2014

Great North RunSeptember 2014

September 2014 
 

October 2014

October & November 2014
 

SkydivingThroughout 2014

Silverstone Half MarathonMarch 2015

Virgin London Marathon April 2015

May 2015
May 2015
 
 

British 10K     July 2015

London TriathlonAugust 2015

Ride London 100   August 2015