The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 18

 Medical statistics - OTMessage #1 Posted by Charles Oxford on 11 May 2008, 11:14 p.m. If someome has a 25 percent chance of living 5 years, does this mean the person has 75 percent chance of dying in 5 years or some other possibility. Anyone hear speak "doctor?" TIA

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #2 Posted by Don Shepherd on 11 May 2008, 11:23 p.m.,in response to message #1 by Charles Oxford As a math teacher (not a doctor), I'd say there's a 75% chance this person will die within the next 5 years.

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #3 Posted by Walter B on 12 May 2008, 1:20 a.m.,in response to message #1 by Charles Oxford This person has a 25% chance to survive the next 5 years. So, 75% remains for not-surviving, i.e. dying within this period. All such numbers are to be taken for big samples, however, meaning 1 out of 4 persons having such a medical status will survive the next 5 years, based on previous experience. (Also no "doctor" (physician), but only a "Dr." (in physics)) Edited: 13 May 2008, 4:41 a.m. after one or more responses were posted

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #4 Posted by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. on 12 May 2008, 10:05 p.m.,in response to message #3 by Walter B Quote: All such numbers are to be taken for big samples, however, meaning 1 out of 4 persons having such a medical status will survive the next 5 years, based on previous experience. Some advice from someone who has been there. What you hope and pray for is that you will be one of those out on the tail of the distribution curve. I am one of the fortunate ones. In 1978 my rising and transverse colon were removed when endoscopy found three distinctly different kinds of cancer. In 1981 my descending colon and rectum were removed when the cancer recurred. At the time I was told that typical patients didn't last more than five years. About ten years later the surgeon exclaimed that I had surely beat the crap out of the odds. And, I'm still here.

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #5 Posted by Walter B on 13 May 2008, 2:55 a.m.,in response to message #4 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr. Congratulations! And many happy years to come!! You are the living (sic!) example for my statement above: chance numbers are for big samples and will *never* predict the individual fate, but only a mean fate (BTW, the English language offers some really cute ambiguities). This holds throughout statistics, but is seldom so impressively seen and felt like in medicine. Good luck to you!!!

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #6 Posted by George Bailey (Bedford Falls) on 13 May 2008, 5:45 a.m.,in response to message #5 by Walter B Quote: ...You are the living (sic!) example... Maybe an example, but not a proof ;-) Of course, Walter, I know your statement concerning large samples and individuals is right. The fact however, that one patient lives 20 more years instead of only 5 can also mean that the doctor made a bad prediction or a false diagnosis ;-) Anyway, Palmer, hope to read your comments for 20 more years! Regards to both of you, George Bailey

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #7 Posted by Bob Wang on 12 May 2008, 10:05 a.m.,in response to message #1 by Charles Oxford Quote: If someome has a 25 percent chance of living 5 years, does this mean the person has 75 percent chance of dying in 5 years or some other possibility. Anyone hear speak "doctor?" TIA Cancer is the most researched, at least as far as staging and statistics go:

 Re: Medical statistics - OTMessage #8 Posted by designnut on 13 May 2008, 12:34 a.m.,in response to message #7 by Bob Wang I took a Kaiser occult blood test today,one sample in a small vial. No dietary preparation, although I have been eating seafoods for a normal prep. I'm a devout coward at 79. I am proof you can do adventurous things carefully. Sam

Go back to the main exhibit hall