Research: Artificial intelligence can detect breast cancer missed by doctors

As part of a wave of studies investigating the use of Artificial Intelligence in a range of medical-imaging contexts, researchers have announced the development of an AI system that outperforms expert radiologists in accurately interpreting mammograms from screening programmes.

The findings were reported in peer-reviewed journal, Nature of January 2020 edition.

According to lead researcher, McKinney, S. M, the study is the latest showing that AI has the potential to improve the accuracy of screening for breast cancer, which affects one in eight women globally.

The Global Cancer Observatory notes that, while breast cancer rates are higher among women in more developed regions, it is equally increasing in nearly every region globally, with almost 50 per cent of breast cancer cases and 58 per cent of deaths occurring in less developed countries, including Nigeria.

Deaths arising from breast cancer, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria, have majorly been attributed to late diagnosis or presentation by patients.

Welcoming the development, American Cancer Society says radiologists miss about 20 per cent of breast cancers in mammograms, and that half of all women who get the screenings over a 10-year period have a false positive result.

The findings of the study, developed with Alphabet Inc’s DeepMind AI unit, which merged with Google Health in September, represent a major advance in the potential for the early detection of breast cancer, says one of the researchers, Mozziyar Etemadi, from Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, United States of America. Punch
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