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What are some common treatments for Bowen's disease?

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Common treatments for Bowen's disease include curettage with cautery, cryotherapy and excision, according to PubMed Central. Other treatments, such as radiotherapy and laser techniques, can be equally as effective. J.T. Bowen first identified Bowen’s disease, which is a scaly or crusty patch of cancerous growth on the upper layer of skin, in 1912.

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Full Answer

Doctors often remove Bowen's disease lesions with cryotherapy, using liquid nitrogen because it is an effective, low-cost treatment, explains PubMed Central. Studies show that cryotherapy has up to a 100 percent clearance rate. The procedure works especially well for small and single lesions in areas where healing typically occurs quickly.

Curettage with cautery is a procedure in which a surgeon scrapes away the skin lesion and then applies heat to the skin, notes Goodskin Dermatology. With up to a 98 percent cure rate, curettage with cautery is another safe and cost-effective therapy for single, small lesions, reports PubMed Central. Patients undergoing the procedure tend to heal faster and experience fewer complications than those undergoing cryotherapy.

Surgeons perform excision using the Mohs procedure of micrographic surgery on patients who have lesions on parts of the body such as fingers and penises, notes PubMed Central. Wound healing may take longer or be more complicated with this procedure, depending on the area of the body from which surgeons remove the lesions.

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