Disease, Bowen
An early stage of skin cancer. Bowen disease is medically the same as "squamous cell carcinoma in situ." Squamous cell carcinoma is a tumor that develops from the squamous cells which are flat, scale-like cells in the outer layer of the skin (the epithelium). The term "in situ" (borrowed from the Romans) means "in the natural or normal place" and, in the case of cancer, it says that the tumor cells are still confined to the site where they originated and they have neither invaded neighboring tissues nor metastasized afar. The hallmark of Bowen disease is a persistent, progressive, slightly raised, red, scaly or crusted plaque. Bowen disease may occur anywhere on the skin surface (or on mucosal surfaces such as in the mouth). Under the microscope, atypical squamous cells are seen to have proliferated through the whole thickness of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) but to have gone no farther. The cause of Bowen disease classically was prolonged exposure to arsenic. Today, Bowen's disease occurs most often in the sun-exposed areas of the skin in "older" white males. Treatment options include freezing with liquid nitrogen, cauterization (burning), surgical removal, and chemosurgery. Bowen disease is named after the American dermatologist John Templeton Bowen (1857-1941).

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Bowen disease — An early stage of skin cancer. Bowen s disease is medically the same as squamous cell carcinoma in situ. Squamous cell carcinoma is a tumor that develops from the squamous cells which are flat, scale like cells in the outer layer of the skin (the …   Medical dictionary

  • Bowen's disease — Bow·en s disease bō ənz n a precancerous lesion of the skin or mucous membranes characterized by small solid elevations covered by thickened horny tissue Bowen John Templeton (1857 1941) American dermatologist. In 1912 Bowen published the first… …   Medical dictionary

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  • Bowen's disease — a type of in situ carcinoma of the squamous epidermal cells of the skin that does not spread to the basal layers. [T. Bowen (1857–1941), US dermatologist] …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • bowen's disease — ˈbōənz noun Usage: usually capitalized B Etymology: after John T. Bowen died 1940 American dermatologist : a precancerous lesion of the skin or mucous membranes characterized by small solid elevations covered by thickened horny tissue …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bowen disease — A skin disease marked by scaly or thickened patches on the skin and often caused by prolonged exposure to arsenic. The patches often occur on sun exposed areas of the skin and in older, white men. These patches may become malignant (cancerous).… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Bowen — John T., U.S. dermatologist, 1857–1941. See B. disease, B. precancerous dermatosis, bowenoid papulosis, Bowenoid cells, under cell …   Medical dictionary

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