A computer-aided detection system (CAD) can effectively detect breast cancers a radiologist is more apt to initially miss, a new study shows.
Small lesions are very challenging for the radiologist to detect, said Rachel F. Brem, MD, director of breast imaging at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and lead author of the study. The study of 201 women found that CAD was “highly effective in detecting even the smallest lesions, with a sensitivity of 92% for lesions of 5 mm or less,” said Dr. Brem. CAD was most effective in detecting cancers measuring 11-15 mm (94%) and least effective in detecting cancers measuring 16-20 mm (80%), Dr. Brem said. Lesion size is important; “cancers smaller than or equal to 1 cm have a better prognosis than cancers greater than 1 cm,” she said.
Subtle masses are also difficult to detect, Dr. Brem said. The study found that CAD had a sensitivity of 83% for the smallest masses (those measuring 1-5 mm). It was most sensitive for masses 11-15 mm (91%) and least sensitive for larger masses measuring greater than 20 mm (75%).
Jason Ocker | EurekAlert!
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