Screening to distraction: Greater focus on the incidentalome

Last week, Gina Kolata of the New York Times summarized a growing controversy around the value of some of the types of medical screening tests currently employed.The salutory effect of this and related articles is a growing awareness of the tradeoff between increased sensitivity and specificity. It also is a shot across the bow as we contemplate the growth in the number of incidental findings that are going to occur as we test hundreds if not thousands of genetic variants today and in the future. Also, today, Gina Kolata reviewed how little we know about diseases as extensively studied as cancer. Some of them do disappear. Do these spontaneously regressed tumors contribute to the surprisingly high false positive rates for screening?

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