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AI Can Be Used for Better Breast Cancer Detection

Breast Cancer

A new study from Swedish scientists at Lund University found that breast cancer screening can be more effective when using AI-powered tools. This is highly significant because, as is widely known, the most important way to deal with breast cancer is early detection.

The scientists said Mammography screening supported by artificial intelligence (AI) is a “safe alternative to today’s conventional double reading by radiologists and can reduce heavy workloads for doctors.” This determination came after an interim analysis of a prospective, randomized controlled trial, which addressed the clinical safety of using AI in mammography screening.

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Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast tissue. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, after skin cancer. About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

There are many different types of breast cancer, but the most common are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma starts in the milk ducts of the breast, and invasive lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules of the breast.

Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, and lungs. This is called metastasis.

“These promising interim safety results should be used to inform new trials and program-based evaluations to address the pronounced radiologist shortage in many countries,” Kristina Lång, a breast cancer radiologist from Lund University in Sweden and the lead author of the new study, said. “But they are not enough on their own to confirm that AI is ready to be implemented in mammography screening. We still need to understand the implications on patients’ outcomes, especially whether combining radiologists’ expertise with AI can help detect interval cancers that are often missed by traditional screening, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the technology.”

“In our trial, we used AI to identify screening examinations with a high risk of breast cancer, which underwent double reading by radiologists. The remaining examinations were classified as low risk and were read only by one radiologist. In the screen reading, radiologists used AI as detection support, in which it highlighted suspicious findings on the images,” said Lång.

There are many different factors that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, including age – the risk of breast cancer increases with age – and a family history of breast cancer. Also, Women of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent are at increased risk of developing breast cancer.

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