Two Views of the War on Cancer

Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health. By Gayle Sulik. Oxford University Press, New York, 2010. ISBN: 0199740453. 424 pp. Hardcover, $29.95.  The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. By Siddhartha Mukherjee. Scribner, New York, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-4391-0795-9. 571 pp. Hardcover, $30. The pink ribbon is a widely recognized symbol

Overdiagnosis

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch has written a new book Over-diagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, with co-authors Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin.  It identifies a serious problem, debunks medical misconceptions and contains words of wisdom. We are healthier, but we are increasingly being told we are sick. We are labeled with diagnoses that

Screening Tests – Cumulative Incidence of False Positives

It’s easy to think of medical tests as black and white. If the test is positive, you have the disease; if it’s negative, you don’t. Even good clinicians sometimes fall into that trap. Based on the pre-test probability of the disease, a positive test result only increases the probability by a variable amount. An example: