Actinic keratoses (AK), also known as solar keratoses, and Bowen's disease (BD) are precursors of invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Whereas AK is precancerous, BD represents intraepidermal (in situ) SCC.1 AK generally presents as multiple, erythematous scaly papules, and is termed actinic cheilitis if the lips are involved. BD usually presents as a solitary, well demarcated, erythematous plaque of varying size with irregular borders and a crusted, scaling or fissured surface.2
AK arises on areas of intense ultraviolet light exposure, with over 80% developing on the head and neck, forearms and hands.3,4 A male predominance is observed.5,6 The distribution of BD varies, demonstrating predominance on the lower legs in women and the head and neck in men in the UK and Australia.7,8 Australia and Denmark feature a marginal propensity for women (56%) and occurrence on the head and neck (44-54%).8,9 Approximately one-third of patients with BD have other non-melanoma skin cancer at diagnosis.9
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Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.