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Diseases and diagnostic tests

Pick any two diseases that require diagnostic tests to identify them from the body system. For each of the diseases, explain the following:

Why is a particular test recommended?
How does the test work?
What information is obtained from the diagnostic test regarding the disease?
Does the diagnosis need confirmation with another diagnostic test?

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Solution Preview

I have chosen the prostate specific antigen (PSA) and fasting blood sugar (FBS) as diagnostic tests. Thanks for using BrainMass.

Prostate Cancer and PSA

PSA or prostate specific antigen measures a protein in the blood produced by the prostate gland in response to a pathphysiological process (mostly cancer). This test was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA to evaluate prostate cancer after treatment, or monitor those who had been diagnosed of prostate cancer. In patients diagnosed of prostate cancer, the repeated values of the PSA are used to follow the disease's behavior. Constant high values, or increased values would indicate no response to treatment or progression of the disease.

Until recently, it was recommended as a routine test to diagnose prostate cancer. However, recent outcomes of large clinical trials (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian [PLCO] Cancer Screening Trial in the USA and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer [ERSPC]) have questioned its use as a screening test for prostate cancer, and have brought lack of consensus among organizations. The American Urology Association continues to recommend its use as a screening test; U.S. Preventive Services Task ...

Solution Summary

The solution involves choosing two diseases and related diagnostic tests, discussion on why and how the test is used, and present recommendations including additional tests if needed for diagnosis. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) with prostate cancer and fasting blood sugar (FBS) with diabetes were chosen for this discussion. References are included.