(WHTM) — October is breast cancer awareness month.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the U.S. and early detection is very important.
That might be easier to do with artificial intelligence.
It’s now being used to help doctors read mammograms.
“It’s not anything that the patient would be able to see. It’s something that we see on the detection side. So, it’s basically just an algorithm or annotations that are embedded into the patient images, and so it’s an overlay on top of the imaging that we see when we’re reviewing all of the imaging for the patient,” Dr. Laura Dean with the Cleveland Clinic said.
She says artificial intelligence, or AI, can help spot more subtle findings on breast imaging.
Research shows it can also help radiologists be more efficient and accurate. Another benefit is that artificial intelligence is constantly learning known or proven cancers.
That information can then be applied when analyzing images.
Dr. Dean uses AI in her own practice and says there have been multiple occasions where it has detected something she couldn’t see.
“I think everyone, and me included, we tend to be a little bit skeptical initially when we have something – a task that a computer is performing. It takes a little bit of time to learn trust, to kind of learn how to apply that to our practice. But I think it’s really exciting to see how this has helped aid our detection of breast cancer. We, of course, want to find breast cancer as early as we possibly can,” she said.
In addition to self checks at home, women are encouraged to start getting annual mammograms for breast cancer when they turn 40.
Those who are at an increased risk may need to have screening sooner. However, it’s best to talk to your physician.