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Mar 22, 2005

I don't need to know anything about virii! My CUSTOM PROGRAM keeps me protected! It's not like they'll try to come in through the Internet or something!

Angry Hippo posted:

Decade later with no intervention and I'm still alive. Tests weren't needed.
It sounds like your view of medical intervention in general is similar to mine, but you have a slightly more paranoid view of it as bill padding, where I think it's more somewhere between rear end-covering and offering the best possible care. It's unfortunate that that sort of thing often comes across as a recommendation rather than as an offer, but I can see that it's tricky (especially with the general public) to be clear like "there's about a 2% chance that its cancer, a 3% chance that it's something else that needs treatment, and a 95% chance that it'll be fine if you leave it alone, the tests will cost $X and have a Y% chance of themselves causing additional complications, and in the event that the test reveals it's cancer there's a Z% chance that it's a false positive, and the cost of treatment for cancer is $Q, and the chance of spontaneous remission if it's cancer is P, and cancer left alone averages X discomfort and Y lifespan while cancer treated averages Q discomfort and V lifespan, etc. etc. etc."

People already see weather forecasts like 80% chance of rain, then if it doesn't rain they're like "ha, the forecast was wrong again!"

I doubt doctors/vets even know these numbers, let alone have the ability to present them meaningfully to a layperson, especially not taking into account surrounding circumstances (ie. what are the odds that a bump shortly after a vaccine at that location is cancer? How are the numbers impacted by age?)

(Now I wonder if pet insurance has stats like these - actuaries seem to be a much better source of this kind of detail than medical people, but I don't know if they have pet actuaries!)


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