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AI More Efficient in Detecting Skin Cancer Than Doctors, Finds Study

On average, flesh and blood dermatologists accurately detected 86.6 percent of skin cancers from the images, compared to 95 percent for the CNN.

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A team from Germany, the United States and France taught an artificial intelligence system to distinguish dangerous skin lesions from benign ones, showing it more than 100,000 images.
There are about 232,000 new cases of melanoma, and 55,500 deaths, in the world each year, the research added.
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A computer was better than human dermatologists at detecting skin cancer in a study that pitted human against machine in the quest for better, faster diagnostics, researchers said Tuesday.

A team from Germany, the United States and France taught an artificial intelligence system to distinguish dangerous skin lesions from benign ones, showing it more than 100,000 images.

The machine — a deep learning convolutional neural network or CNN — was then tested against 58 dermatologists from 17 countries, shown photos of malignant melanomas and benign moles.

Just over half the dermatologists were at “expert” level with more than five years of experience, 19 percent had between two and five years’ experience, and 29 percent were beginners with less than two years under their belt.

“Most dermatologists were outperformed by the CNN,” the research team wrote in a paper published in the journal Annals of Oncology.

On average, flesh and blood dermatologists accurately detected 86.6 percent of skin cancers from the images, compared to 95 percent for the CNN.

“The CNN missed fewer melanomas, meaning it had a higher sensitivity than the dermatologists,” the study’s first author Holger Haenssle of the University of Heidelberg said in a statement.

A team from Germany, the United States and France taught an artificial intelligence system to distinguish dangerous skin lesions from benign ones, showing it more than 100,000 images.
On average, flesh and blood dermatologists accurately detected 86.6 percent of skin cancers from the images, compared to 95 percent for the CNN. Pixabay

It also “misdiagnosed fewer benign moles as malignant melanoma… this would result in less unnecessary surgery.”

The dermatologists’ performance improved when they were given more information of the patients and their skin lesions.

The team said AI may be a useful tool for faster, easier diagnosis of skin cancer, allowing surgical removal before it spreads.

There are about 232,000 new cases of melanoma, and 55,500 deaths, in the world each year, they added.

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But it is unlikely that a machine will take over from human doctors entirely, rather functioning as an aid.

Melanoma in some parts of the body, such as the fingers, toes and scalp, are difficult to image, and AI may have difficulty recognizing “atypical” lesions or ones that patients themselves are unaware of.

“Currently, there is no substitute for a thorough clinical examination,” experts Victoria Mar from Monash University in Melbourne and Peter Soyer of the University of Queensland wrote in an editorial published with the study. (VOA)

 

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Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease

There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected

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Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease
Cancer: Salient Features of The Killer Disease. Pixabay

* Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths.

* India has nearly 3 million cancer patients.

* A million new cases are reported in India every year.

* Deaths from cancer worldwide are estimated to reach 13.1 million deaths in 2030.

* Lung and oral cancer is the most common among men.

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* Cervix and breast cancer is the most common among women.

* Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22 percent of global cancer deaths and 71 percent of global lung cancer deaths.

* Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each
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* Cancers such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated properly.

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* There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected.

* One-fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection; for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer. (IANS)

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