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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.

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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Study Says, Men With Breast Cancer Face High Mortality Rates

The study used 11 years of registry data from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2014, which included 1.8 million female and 16,025 male patients

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Other factors that might influence mortality rates among Men could be lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity. Pixabay

Men with breast cancer are more likely to have lower overall survival rates than their female counterparts, a study said.

“The persistent disparity, derived from an analysis of data from the National Cancer Database, suggests a possible distinct cancer biology, less effective treatment or compliance issues, and perhaps unhealthy lifestyles among men may be responsible for the lower overall survival rates,” said the study’s senior author Xiao-Ou Shu from the Vanderbilt University in the US.

The five-year mortality rate for men was 19 per cent higher than women, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

The study used 11 years of registry data from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2014, which included 1.8 million female and 16,025 male patients.

About 85 per cent of male breast cancer is Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, a proportion that is higher than female breast cancer patients (75 per cent).

“That is a cancer type where patients usually fare better because we have a hormonal treatment.

“We have a lot of treatment options for that type of breast cancer. In theory, men should have better outcomes and have lower mortality as women do if the treatment is equally effective,” Shu said.

According to the researchers, previous studies have shown that men might not be as compliant with hormonal treatments as women.

Men
The five-year mortality rate for Men was 19 per cent higher than women, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Oncology. Pixabay

Other factors that might influence mortality rates among men could be lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity.

Clinical characteristics and under treatments were associated with 63 per cent of the sex-related mortality disparity.

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“The bottom line is that we need more studies specifically focused on male breast cancer,” Shu added. (IANS)