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Screening and Diagnosis

  • Bryan Kestenbaum
Chapter

Abstract

Alice is a 45-year-old woman who has a positive screening mammogram. She asks her physician about the chance of this being actual breast cancer. The mammogram is 90% sensitive and 90% specific for detecting breast cancer, and the prevalence of breast cancer in her age group is approximately 1%. What is the probability that Alice has breast cancer?

Screening and diagnostic tests are important clinical tools for identifying diseases at an early stage and promoting treatments that benefit tested individuals. Careful implementation and interpretation of these tests are needed to avoid clinical confusion, restrain healthcare costs, and prevent unnecessary complications caused by follow-up procedures that are prompted by positive test results.

References

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    Cohen JD, Li L, Wang Y, et al. Detection and localization of surgically resectable cancers with a multi-analyte blood test. Science. 2018;359:eaar3247.Google Scholar
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    Ware JH. The limitations of risk factors as prognostic tools. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(25):2615–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan Kestenbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, Department of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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