Outcomes, risk of other malignancies and need for formal mapping procedures in patients with perianal Bowen's disease

Julie A. Margenthaler, David W. Dietz, Matthew G. Mutch, Elisa H. Birnbaum, Ira J. Kodner, James W. Fleshman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Local excision is standard treatment for Bowen's disease, but controversy exists over the incidence of synchronous and metachronous cancers as well as the role of a preexcision mapping procedure. METHODS: The medical records of 25 patients treated for perianal Bowen's disease between 1978 and 2001 were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: There were 11 men and 14 women with a mean age at diagnosis of 47.9 ± 14.9 years. The majority of patients (72 percent) had symptom-driven biopsies. Presentation included pruritus (56 percent), mass (28 percent), bleeding (24 percent), and anal pain (4 percent). The average duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 1.3 ± 0.5 years. Two patients had microscopic disease discovered incidentally after hemorrhoidectomy and underwent no further treatment. Twenty-three patients underwent wide local excision, of which 19 (83 percent) had a formal mapping procedure. On final pathology, 23 patients (92 percent) had clear margins. There were three recurrences (mean time to recur 2.0 ± 1.0 years), including the two patients who had positive margins after wide excision (1 after mapping) and one patient who had clear margins after mapping. Five patients (20 percent) had other carcinomas (1 sigmoid, 4 vulvar). At follow-up, 24 patients were alive with no evidence of Bowen's disease and 1 patient was dead secondary to sigmoid cancer with no evidence of Bowen's disease. CONCLUSIONS: Wide excision of perianal Bowen's disease results in excellent local control, although this is highly dependent on clear pathologic margins. A formal mapping procedure does not preclude recurrence. Initial screening and follow-up regimens are not uniform because of the wide range of treatment options available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1661
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Anal intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Bowen's


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