Trollish Question
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10-07-2017, 12:25 AM
Trollish Question
Okay, I'm feeling in a trollish mood, so have a trick question:

Let's say that your doctor calls you after a physical. Your routine blood test was randomly selected for some additional screening and, well, the results are bad.

You have a very bad disease. It's extremely rare (only about one in ten million of the population ever develop it) and as a result no one's bothered to develop a cure or a treatment for it. You should start showing symptoms in a couple of months, and after that you have several months of suffering followed by unavoidable death. You should probably start writing out your last will and testament, and maybe take your last vacation days and retire.

Not quite ready to accept the information that this trusted medical professional is providing, you say that there must be some mistake. No, your doctor answers, not likely. This particular test is only yields false results one percent of one percent of the time... and that includes things like laboratory workers getting labels mixed up. No, he says, you really do have the disease.

Should you:

A) Accept what science is telling you and start putting your affairs in order, or...
B) Latch on to that 1% of 1% sliver of hope, decide it's probably just a bad test, and seek a second opinion?

Please explain your answers.

Evil_monster
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10-07-2017, 12:33 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 12:25 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I'm feeling in a trollish mood, so have a trick question:

Let's say that your doctor calls you after a physical. Your routine blood test was randomly selected for some additional screening and, well, the results are bad.

You have a very bad disease. It's extremely rare (only about one in ten million of the population ever develop it) and as a result no one's bothered to develop a cure or a treatment for it. You should start showing symptoms in a couple of months, and after that you have several months of suffering followed by unavoidable death. You should probably start writing out your last will and testament, and maybe take your last vacation days and retire.

Not quite ready to accept the information that this trusted medical professional is providing, you say that there must be some mistake. No, your doctor answers, not likely. This particular test is only yields false results one percent of one percent of the time... and that includes things like laboratory workers getting labels mixed up. No, he says, you really do have the disease.

Should you:

A) Accept what science is telling you and start putting your affairs in order, or...
B) Latch on to that 1% of 1% sliver of hope, decide it's probably just a bad test, and seek a second opinion?

Please explain your answers.

Evil_monster

> Actually, I was in a situation like that several years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer. I sought out a second opinion, which led to several options for treatment. As a result, I survived and am presently cancer free. I still undergo periodic cancer screening. Consider
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10-07-2017, 12:51 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 12:25 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I'm feeling in a trollish mood, so have a trick question:

Let's say that your doctor calls you after a physical. Your routine blood test was randomly selected for some additional screening and, well, the results are bad.

You have a very bad disease. It's extremely rare (only about one in ten million of the population ever develop it) and as a result no one's bothered to develop a cure or a treatment for it. You should start showing symptoms in a couple of months, and after that you have several months of suffering followed by unavoidable death. You should probably start writing out your last will and testament, and maybe take your last vacation days and retire.

Not quite ready to accept the information that this trusted medical professional is providing, you say that there must be some mistake. No, your doctor answers, not likely. This particular test is only yields false results one percent of one percent of the time... and that includes things like laboratory workers getting labels mixed up. No, he says, you really do have the disease.

Should you:

A) Accept what science is telling you and start putting your affairs in order, or...
B) Latch on to that 1% of 1% sliver of hope, decide it's probably just a bad test, and seek a second opinion?

Please explain your answers.

Evil_monster

This is quite easy to answer. I'd do them both, and I'd also add C) get second, third, fourth.... fifteenth opinions from other doctors.
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10-07-2017, 12:55 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 12:25 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I'm feeling in a trollish mood, so have a trick question:

Let's say that your doctor calls you after a physical. Your routine blood test was randomly selected for some additional screening and, well, the results are bad.

You have a very bad disease. It's extremely rare (only about one in ten million of the population ever develop it) and as a result no one's bothered to develop a cure or a treatment for it. You should start showing symptoms in a couple of months, and after that you have several months of suffering followed by unavoidable death. You should probably start writing out your last will and testament, and maybe take your last vacation days and retire.

Not quite ready to accept the information that this trusted medical professional is providing, you say that there must be some mistake. No, your doctor answers, not likely. This particular test is only yields false results one percent of one percent of the time... and that includes things like laboratory workers getting labels mixed up. No, he says, you really do have the disease.

Should you:

A) Accept what science is telling you and start putting your affairs in order, or...
B) Latch on to that 1% of 1% sliver of hope, decide it's probably just a bad test, and seek a second opinion?

Please explain your answers.

Evil_monster

Hmmm. False results 0.01% of the time? I've seen a bunch of stats on how these kind of things imply a mch greater credibility for the test than is actually the case. Let's see if I can reason it out.

So firstly the disease is super rare. Only 1 in 10^6 people get it.
The test is super accurate. It yields false results in 0.01% of cases.
That means 1 in 10 000 people will get an incorrect diagnosis.
That means in a population of 10 million, 100 people will get an incorrect diagnosis.
Of those 10 million, only 1 actually has the disease. So overwhelmingly the false diagnoses will be for those who *don't* have the disease.

You should get a second opinion. Troll Hobo

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-07-2017, 12:57 AM
RE: Trollish Question
Ehem.

Base rate fallacy.

Fuckin' trolls.

Dodgy

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10-07-2017, 01:14 AM
RE: Trollish Question
Incidentally a better test for the disease, that has a 1 in 10^6 probability of returning false results, is to simply say that Test(x) = False for every person x. Tongue

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-07-2017, 01:26 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 01:14 AM)morondog Wrote:  Incidentally a better test for the disease, that has a 1 in 10^6 probability of returning false results, is to simply say that Test(x) = False for every person x. Tongue

.... 10 ^ -7.
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10-07-2017, 02:59 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 12:51 AM)Aliza Wrote:  I'd also add C) get second, third, fourth.... fifteenth opinions from other doctors.
This is really the main option I think. With doctors, whilst their diagnosis are based upon the known science of the human body, a lot of it is mainly opinion as well. Some doctors accept everything the know as fact and cannot question it, whilst others use the scientific method to find "alternatives" [Note: NOT alternative medicine, actual treatments that are then alternative....if that makes sense] to what is known as the norm.

Whilst I would accept the diagnosis of "you have X" I would seek out multiple doctors and get an informed opinion of my options.

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10-07-2017, 03:41 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 01:26 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(10-07-2017 01:14 AM)morondog Wrote:  Incidentally a better test for the disease, that has a 1 in 10^6 probability of returning false results, is to simply say that Test(x) = False for every person x. Tongue

.... 10 ^ -7.

Oh woe is me, I hath madeth a basic arithmetic error. I shalt commit seppuku.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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10-07-2017, 06:10 AM
RE: Trollish Question
(10-07-2017 12:25 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I'm feeling in a trollish mood, so have a trick question:

Let's say that your doctor calls you after a physical. Your routine blood test was randomly selected for some additional screening and, well, the results are bad.

You have a very bad disease. It's extremely rare (only about one in ten million of the population ever develop it) and as a result no one's bothered to develop a cure or a treatment for it. You should start showing symptoms in a couple of months, and after that you have several months of suffering followed by unavoidable death. You should probably start writing out your last will and testament, and maybe take your last vacation days and retire.

Not quite ready to accept the information that this trusted medical professional is providing, you say that there must be some mistake. No, your doctor answers, not likely. This particular test is only yields false results one percent of one percent of the time... and that includes things like laboratory workers getting labels mixed up. No, he says, you really do have the disease.

Should you:

A) Accept what science is telling you and start putting your affairs in order, or...
B) Latch on to that 1% of 1% sliver of hope, decide it's probably just a bad test, and seek a second opinion?

Please explain your answers.

Evil_monster

I'd do both although being in Britain getting a second opinion on the NHS is a right fucking performance and doctors rightly or wrongly are a bit prejudiced towards patients who request them, so id prolly be dead by the time I got one.
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