More on Cancer Screening

The Times today had another article on cancer screening, mostly breast cancer but also some discussion of prostate cancer. Pretty similar to what we discussed in class, except that they assumed in the 40-50 year age group that only 1 in 1000 women have cancer. This leads to a less than 1% chance that a woman in that age group has cancer, given a positive mammogram (as compared to somewhat under 10% in the larger group that includes older women that we discussed in class). At the same time many women will have false positives that will lead to unnecessary treatment including chemotherapy, radiation or even mastectomies.

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