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JAMA Revisited
May 17, 2016

Tests in the Diagnosis of Cancer

Author Affiliations
 

August 7, 1915

 

JAMA. 1915;65 (6) :531.

JAMA. 2016;315(19):2127. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.17086

There seems to exist at the present time a singular readiness on the part of the medical profession to take up every new diagnostic test as soon as it is proposed. This enthusiasm and the uncritical attitude which accompanies it may perhaps be due to the fact that a number of chemical and biologic reactions introduced into medical diagnosis in the past decade have performed singular and successful service. The search for helpful tests in the diagnosis of cancer has been particularly active, because of the large number of scientific workers interested in the problems of this disease, and of the splendid resources that have been put at the command of the investigators in almost every civilized country. Many times a few seemingly positive data have paved the way for very favorable reports as to the efficiency of some new test, only to be followed by most discouraging condemnation when the field of application was more carefully scrutinized or the statistics were enlarged by a suitable number of observations.

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