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Are screening tests effective?

Ideally, a screening test is both very sensitive and specific. People with the disease will test positive and those without the disease will test negative. Unfortunately, there are no perfect screening tests in medicine -- every test will result in some false positives and false negatives. The reality of medicine is that screening tests with sensitivities and specificities in the 80-90% range are often used. This means that while the majority of the results are correct, there are a significant number of false results.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.