A decision support system for breast cancer detection in screening programs

M. Velikova, P.J.F. Lucas, N. Ferreira, M. Samulski and N. Karssemeijer

in: Proceeding of the 2008 conference on ECAI 2008, 2008, pages 658-662


The goal of breast cancer screening programs is to detect cancers at an early (preclinical) stage, by using periodic mammographic examinations in asymptomatic women. In evaluating cases, mammographers insist on reading multiple images (at least two) of each breast as a cancerous lesion tends to be observed in different breast projections (views). Most computer-aided detection (CAD) systems, on the other hand, only analyze single views independently, and thus fail to account for the interaction between the views. In this paper, we propose a Bayesian framework for exploiting multi-view dependencies between the suspected regions detected by a single-view CAD system. The results from experiments with real-life data show that our approach outperforms the singleview CAD system in distinguishing between normal and abnormal cases. Such a system can support screening radiologists to improve the evaluation of breast cancer cases.