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Computer Simulation of Breast Cancer Screening

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Final rept. 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 2001

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A breast cancer screening computer model was developed. Simulations of the physics of mammography detection were performed, and the detection probability of breast cancer using mammographic screening was assessed. The detection characteristics of mammographic screening were quantified as a function of breast density and tumor diameter. In addition to modeling the actual screening process, other factors that were incorporated into the screening model include the growth rate of breast cancer, the ethnic breakdown of the US female population, the age and race dependent incidence of breast cancer, and the prognosis of surviving breast cancer once it is detected size and node status dependent. The age dependent death rate from other non-breast cancer causes was also included in the model. The model was capable of producing output parameters which correspond well to published data, and these parameters include the size distribution of breast cancer at detection, and the survival rates from breast cancer. The development of the model led us to consider alternate screening strategies such as breast CT techniques. We conclude that modeling the performance of breast cancer screening is an important tool which will help in the optimization of screening procedures and in reducing breast cancer mortality.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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