A few years ago, after undergoing a routine physical, a friend of mine received some bad news. A test given to men his age came back positive, an indication of a pretty serious medical condition. Worse, 99 percent of those with the disease test positive, while only 5 percent who don't have the condition get the bad news.
At first he was near panic, but started to calm down after we did some research on the Web. When we took what we'd found and used Bayes theorem to calculate the probability he actually had the disease given the positive test, he felt a lot better.
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