NEJM: Single CAD reading could replace double mammo readings

“A computer is as good as a second pair of eyes for helping a radiologist spot breast cancer on a mammogram, one of the largest and most rigorous tests of computer-aided detection found. “

Like spell-checkers looking for mistakes, the computers flag suspicious areas on X-rays for a closer look by a radiologist. Mammograms are used to screen women for early signs of breast cancer but the tests aren’t perfect. In the U.S., the X-rays are read by a single radiologist and cancers are sometimes missed.”

Computed Aided Detection or CAD has been around for quite some time but it has been used (if adopted at all) more for a second (or third) opinion, never really used as the primary screener due to the ‘miss rate’

Now, a new study conducted by British researchers are reporting results from a randomized study of 31,000 women to compare if a single expert aided by a computer could do as well as two pairs of eyes. Mammograms in Britain are routinely checked by two radiologists or technicians – which is thought to be better than a single review).

The results? – they found that computer-aided detection spotted nearly the same number of cancers, 198 out of 227, compared to 199 for the two readers. Not too bad eh.

The original article has all the details here.

Enjoy 🙂

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