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December 5, 1977

Venereal Disease vs Bowen's Disease

Author Affiliations

Lakes Region General Hospital Laconia, NH

JAMA. 1977;238(23):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280240042015

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To the Editor.—  In the article "Venereal Warts vs Bowen's Disease" by Lupulescu et al (237:2520, 1977), the authors come down strongly on the side of Bowen's disease. But what is Bowen's disease? Might it not be like the man looking at the leaves so closely and intently he did not know that he was looking at part of a tree, let alone that he was in Epping Forest. Most people with knowledge of the histopathology of viral infections of skin (hoof and mouth disease, fowl pox, small pox, warts of man) would opt for Bowen's disease being a viral infection. The fact that the electron microscopy does not demonstrate virus makes it all the more intriguing; the mystery has been with us ever since Shope investigated progression of the papilloma named after him. My conclusion is that the patients described (of 19, 22, 25, 27, and 33 years) have