Medical Tests - What You Should Know

What’s more reliable than medical tests? - Because of this reliability problem, never regard a test as anything more than a means of confirming what can be observed clinically: your symptoms, the physical signs you exhibit, your family’s medical history and your health care practitioner’s impressions.

What if your medical tests don’t jibe with your symptoms? - Avoid undergoing therapy or treatments if the tests don’t support clinical information, such as your symptoms, how you feel, etc. Never change your entire lifestyle based on the results of one test. Make sure you have the test repeated at least twice, and in different settings (another laboratory or another practitioner’s office that isn’t affiliated with your practitioner.

How reliable are medical laboratories? - When medical laboratories were tested for accuracy, more than 1 out of every 7 tests results were found to be either in error or totally unreliable. That means millions of tests performed every day are inaccurate. Many of these inaccuracies occur because the testing chemicals are defective because they’re out of date, contaminated or mislabeled, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

A study performed by the Centers for Disease Control found that only 5% of one test were accurate; 95% were inaccurate and gave the wrong diagnosis to the people having the test.

A biochemist at Sloan Kettering Hospital sent slides to laboratories around the country. Fifty percent of the labs made a wrong diagnosis; that means every other person got the wrong diagnosis.

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