Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Improve Breast Cancer Detection For Women With Dense Breasts

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RJ Pierce, Tech Times 07 October 2021, 05:10 am

An artificial intelligence algorithm has been helping improve the accuracy of breast cancer detection. 

Breast cancer illustration

(Photo : Getty Images )

In a study conducted by a team of Dutch researchers, the use of an artificial intelligence has proved effective in speeding up both the accuracy and speed of detecting breast cancer for women with dense breasts, according to UPI

That's because the density of a woman's breast can actually make it far harder to identify cancer earlier. 

Using artificial intelligence, the aptly named Dense Tissue and Early Breast Neoplasm Screening (DENSE) trial was able to train AI to differentiate between breasts with and without cancerous lesions. 

With the technology, the researchers were able to look at a total of 9,200 MRI scans of dense breasts. The artificial intelligence flagged 91% of all the scans with lesions, and dismissing 40% of those without lesions, all without missing any cancers. 

The study specifically states supplemental MRI screening, which uses an AI to quickly and accurately go through tons of data. It can then rule out any chance of breast cancer in the majority of women who don't have it, so doctors can have more time to tend to patients with more difficult cases. 

This is the latest news in the field of using artificial intelligence to augment mammograms.

In September, it was found that using AI can improve breast cancer detection accuracy by a good 37%, though that one didn't explore the reality of women also having dense breasts. 

Read also: Artificial Intelligence Offers New Way Of Detecting Breast Cancer

Artificial Intelligence: A Saving Grace For Breast Cancer Patients? 

According to the World Health Organization, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 alone, with over 685,000 of them dying from the illness. This makes it the world's most prevalent type of cancer.

The best weapon against it has always been early detection. This is a time when the cancer itself is small and still very easy to treat. Modern mammograms can definitely do this. 

These results will have to be looked at by radiologists.

However, even the most experienced radiologist can make a mistake, as per a report by UMass Med. That's where artificial intelligence comes in. 

Artificial intelligence art

(Photo : Getty Images )

One of the greatest advantages of AI is its ability to learn and process information beyond human capabilities. It was quite evident in the aforementioned study, where the AI was trained to look at over 9,000 MRI scans. 

In fact, there's already an AI specifically designed for breast cancer detection. Called the Mammography Intelligent Assessment AI, this machine was developed by a UK-based science firm called Medical Technologies. 

Its main goal is to actually assist radiologists in interpreting mammogram results. With the processing power of artificial intelligence, experts are able to improve the accuracy of their early detection and significantly alter patient outcomes.  

A Great Future Ahead 

Breast cancer is deadly, but perhaps it doesn't have to be. Millions upon millions of lives can be saved with the help of this artificial intelligence, especially the lives of those whose bodies pose a significant challenge for normal breast cancer detection. 

Related: Here's How Google's AI Helps Detect Cancer Via Deep Learning

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Written by RJ Pierce

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