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November 19, 2003


A close relative has come back from the doctors with a bad pap smear. Several of us in the family have jumped the gun and assumed the worst. Cervical Cancer. I'm out of town while all this drama is going down and it's messing with my head. Worse case scenarios in this arena are not even pleasant to game on a bad day, even a scenario juggler like me doesn't want to go there.

So while we've all calmed down and are waiting for a second opinion and more detailed lab work, I'm going to have to do some advance research and fill my head with a few morbid facts. Shit.

Posted by mbowen at November 19, 2003 07:28 AM

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I'd say not to worry too much, at least, not before the second test comes in.

To see why, consider this post on medicine in statistics by Jacques Distler. Essentially, the chances that this is a false positive are pretty high, and the hospital really ought to be slapped down for making a premature announcement like this, instead of booking her for two tests from the very beginning.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite at November 19, 2003 03:02 PM