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Papa CM.


In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors.


Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 107.


The human pelage, compared to that of other mammals, is a meager thatch of limited physiologic worth. Its psychologic value is incalculable. Consider the extreme example of the patient who resists cancer chemotherapy because it will produce temporary hair loss. Life, or the quality of life, is being influenced by what could be cynically dismissed as useless ornamentation. The importance to such patients is acknowledged by the considerable medical efforts that may be directed at preventing the loss to help ease the travails of unpleasant therapy. Because hair is the source of such focused attention, abnormalities are quickly perceived by the patient. For the physician, there is the opportunity for early detection of occult systemic disease.

Copyright © 1990, Butterworth Publishers, a division of Reed Publishing.

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