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Artificial Intelligence to Play a Critical Role in Diagnosing Breast Cancer Quickly

"We had about 80 per cent accuracy rate. We will continue to refine the algorithm by using more real-world images as inputs,” Oberai said

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Several expert doctors from India, the US, the UK and specialists in the area of Computer Science from India participated in the panel discussions and presentations. Pixabay

Breast ultrasound elastography is an emerging imaging technique that provides information about a potential breast lesion and researchers have identified the critical role AI can play in making this technique more efficient and accurate.

Using more precise information about the characteristics of a cancerous versus non-cancerous breast lesion, this methodology using Artificial Intelligence (AI) has demonstrated more accuracy compared to traditional modes of imaging.

In the study published in the journal Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Indian-origin researchers Dhruv Patel and Assad Oberai from the University of Southern California showed that it is possible to train a machine to interpret real-world images using synthetic data and streamline the steps to diagnosis.

In the case of breast ultrasound elastography, once an image of the affected area is taken, it is analysed to determine displacements inside the tissue. Using this data and the physical laws of mechanics, the spatial distribution of mechanical properties, like its stiffness, is determined.

In the study, researchers sought to determine if they could skip the most complicated steps of this workflow.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

For this, the researchers used about 12,000 synthetic images to train their Machine Learning algorithm. This process was similar to how photo identification software works, i.e learning through repeated inputs on how to recognize a particular person in an image, or how our brain learns to classify a cat versus a dog.

Through enough examples, the algorithm was able to glean different features inherent to a benign tumour versus a malignant tumour and make the correct determination.

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The researchers achieved nearly 100 per cent classification accuracy on synthetic images. Once the algorithm was trained, they tested it on real-world images to determine how accurate it could be in providing a diagnosis, measuring these results against biopsy-confirmed diagnoses associated with these images.

“We had about 80 per cent accuracy rate. We will continue to refine the algorithm by using more real-world images as inputs,” Oberai said. (IANS)

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Here’s How Dairy Milk Consumption Can Lead to Breast Cancer

Dairy milk intake may up breast cancer risk

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Dairy milk cancer
Moderate amounts of dairy milk consumption can increase women's risk of breast cancer -- up to 80 per cent depending on the amount consumed. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even relatively moderate amounts of dairy milk consumption can increase women’s risk of breast cancer — up to 80 per cent depending on the amount consumed.

“Fairly strong evidence that either dairy milk or some other factor closely related to drinking dairy milk is a cause of breast cancer in women,” said study first author Gary E. Fraser from Loma Linda University in the US. “Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30 per cent,” Fraser said.

By drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50 per cent, and for those drinking two to three cups per day, the risk increased further to 70 per cent to 80 per cent, the researchers said. For the findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, dietary intakes of nearly 53,000 North American women were evaluated for the study, all of whom were initially free of cancer and were followed for nearly eight years.

Dietary intakes were estimated from food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), also repeated 24 hour recalls, and a baseline questionnaire had questions about demographics, family history of breast cancer, physical activity, alcohol consumption, hormonal and other medication use, breast cancer screening, and reproductive and gynecological history.

Dairy milk
Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30 per cent. Pixabay

By the end of the study period, there were 1,057 new breast cancer cases during follow-up. No clear associations were found between soy products and breast cancer, independent of dairy. But, when compared to low or no milk consumption, higher intakes of dairy calories and dairy milk were associated with greater risk of breast cancer, independent of soy intake, the study said.

The researchers noted that the results had minimal variation when comparing intake of full fat versus reduced or nonfat milks; there were no important associations noted with cheese and yogurt.

“However,” he said, “dairy foods, especially milk, were associated with increased risk, and the data predicted a marked reduction in risk associated with substituting soymilk for dairy milk.”

According to the researchers, possible reasons for these associations between breast cancer and dairy milk may be the sex hormone content of dairy milk, as the cows are of course lactating, and often about 75 per cent of the dairy herd is pregnant. Breast cancer in women is a hormone-responsive cancer.

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Further, intake of dairy and other animal proteins in some reports is also associated with higher blood levels of a hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is thought to promote certain cancers. “Dairy does have some positive nutritional qualities, but these need to be balanced against other possible, less helpful effects,” Fraser concluded. (IANS)