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Cancers Missed on Mammography

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Annual rept. 23 Sep 2001-22 Sep 2002

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Observer error in reading screening mammograms has been identified as a significant factor in delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. The magnitude of the problem is estimated to be about 30 of potentially detectable cancers are overlooked for one or more years before detection. Computer-aided diagnosis CAD programs have been developed to aid radiologists in the detection task, and pre-clinical studies have shown that CAD applied to digitized mammography films can flag about 50 of radiologists observational oversights. Our preliminary study has also shown a wide variability in radiologist observer performance. The purpose of this investigation is to test how many additional cancers are detected by radiologists using CAD, in an observer study using an enriched mixture of cancers. A pilot study has been completed and the results were used to plan the full observer study. Using more sophisticated statistical power analysis, we estimate that we need 370 cases containing 70 cancers with 10 radiologists. We are also using ImageChecker MlOOO software which has a false positive rate of 0.5 per image, compared to 3.0 for the software used in the pilot study. Observers are being recruited and reading will start in December.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Radiobiology

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