Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

  • receive the eCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.


Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

Treating actinic keratosis and Bowen’s disease can help prevent skin cancer

By Mindo - 13th Mar 2019 | 114 views

Melanoma. Skin cancer infographics. Medical Infographic set with icons and other elements.

An informative overview of the most effective treatments for actinic keratosis (AK) and Bowen’s disease was provided to PCDSI delegates by Consultant Dermatologist at Guy’s Hospital, UK, Dr Clare Kiely.

Dr Kiely advised that recognising and effectively treating the conditions can help to prevent skin cancer development.

She noted that data from the Irish Cancer Society predicts that by 2040, there will be 19,000 cases of skin cancer in Ireland annually.

AK and Bowen’s disease, she said, already represent a huge burden on healthcare systems. Some 10 per cent of dermatology appointments involve a diagnosis of AK.

Dr Kiely stated that he numbers are vast, citing NICE data that shows 23 per cent of people over the age of 40 have an AK.

When diagnosing an AK, she suggested that as some lesions are subtle, it is important to feel the skin for roughness.

She said 15-to-60 per cent of AKs can regress, while 15-to-33 per cent can recur. Others will remain static, while about 0.5 per cent per year will progress to a squamous cell carcinoma.

All AKs should be treated and topical agents, while destructive therapies, can also be used, Dr Kiely said.

Cryotherapy is the go-to treatment for AK, as it has cure rates of up to 98 per cent. However, cryotherapy can damage healthy skin cells and leave scars, she warned. Clinicians should also remain cautious on using cryotherapy on the lower legs because of the risk of ulceration.

Other treatments include fluorouracil, imiquimod, ingenol mebutate and photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Fluorouracil is the most effective treatment in terms of reduction and inflammation is a healthy part of treatment, she said.

In the treatment of Bowen’s disease, topical treatments are less effective, which is why cryotherapy, curettage and cautery, and PDT are recommended, she advised.

Leave a Reply

Latest
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent 19th May 2022

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read