Author(s): Shen Y, Wu D, Zelen M
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Abstract Consider two diagnostic procedures having binary outcomes. If one of the tests results in a positive finding, a more definitive diagnostic procedure will be administered to establish the presence or absence of a disease. The use of both tests will improve the overall screening sensitivity when the two tests are independent, compared with employing two tests that are positively correlated. We estimate the correlation coefficient of the two tests and derive statistical methods for testing the independence of the two diagnostic procedures conditional on disease status. The statistical tests are used to investigate the independence of mammography and clinical breast exams aimed at establishing the benefit of early detection of breast cancer. The data used in the analysis are obtained from periodic screening examinations of three randomized clinical trials of breast cancer screening. Analysis of each of these trials confirms the independence of the clinical breast and mammography examinations. Based on these three large clinical trials, we conclude that a clinical breast exam considerably increases the overall sensitivity relative to screening with mammography alone and should be routinely included in early breast cancer detection programs.
This article was published in Biometrics
and referenced in Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics