samedi 8 juillet 2017

Breast Cancer Probabilities

A friend of mine went to get tested for breast cancer, and after the exam and mammogram, the doctor said to her that she has a 70% chance of having a malignant tumour.

The next step apparently is a biopsy, which she will be doing. He also told her to get a second opinion.

At this point I'm mostly wondering about the 70% figure. She said that based on the mammogram she was given a BI-RADS score of 3. Apparently she went on google and read that this meant there as a 98% chance that the tumour is benign.

However, the doctor said that based on the interview (family history) and exam, he estimated the likelihood of malignancy at 70%.

The question isn't really related to what to do next. It seems clear that she should get the biopsy, for instance. What I'm mostly wondering is if there's much reason to take 70% as a serious figure?

I basically told her to make sure she goes through the further tests, but the doctor doesn't necessarily understand statistics so don't take the number 70% too seriously.

Thanks. :)

via International Skeptics Forum

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