Monday May 27, 2019

Novel AI Method Predicts Future Risk of Breast Cancer

The advantages held across different subgroups of women, said the study published in the journal Radiology

Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new tool with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) methods to predict a woman’s future risk of breast cancer.

For the study, the researchers used almost 90,000 full-resolution screening mammograms from about 40,000 women to train, validate and test the deep learning model.

“There’s much more information in a mammogram than just the four categories of breast density, “said study lead author Adam Yala from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“By using the deep learning model, we learn subtle cues that are indicative of future cancer,” Yala added.

The research team recently compared three different risk assessment approaches. The first model relied on traditional risk factors, the second on deep learning that used the mammogram alone, and the third on a hybrid approach that incorporated both the mammogram and traditional risk factors into the deep learning model.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

The deep learning models yielded substantially improved risk discrimination over the Tyrer-Cuzick model, a current clinical standard that uses breast density in factoring risk.

When comparing the hybrid deep learning model against breast density, the researchers found that patients with non-dense breasts and model-assessed high risk had 3.9 times the cancer incidence of patients with dense breasts and model-assessed low risk.

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The advantages held across different subgroups of women, said the study published in the journal Radiology.

“Unlike traditional models, our deep learning model performs equally well across diverse races, ages and family histories,” said Regina Barzilay, Professor at MIT. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Facing Criticism for banning Breast Cancer Non-profit’s Ads

Breast cancer survivors, however, criticised the social media giant’s decision to ban the campaign

facebook, personal data
FILE - A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

Facebook is facing criticism from breast cancer survivors after the social network banned an ad campaign run by an Australian breast cancer non-profit, citing nudity rules.

The campaign by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) which featured topless photos of breast cancer survivors was “specifically designed to draw attention to the disease that affects more than 19,000 people every year”, according to BCNA.

The annual “Pink Bun” campaign was launched in partnership with Australian bakery chain Bakers Delight.

The ads, some of which feature postmastectomy scars, were designed “to raise awareness of the importance of support and highlight the far reaching effects of breast cancer”, BCNA said in a Facebook post.

“Every person pictured on the posters is a breast cancer survivor who has volunteered their time to be involved and share their story,” BCNA said.

Facebook in certain circumstances allows users to post pictures of breasts, but its policy for advertisers is much stricter, in part because the content is actively pushed to feeds rather than users having to opt in to see it, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday.

Facebook ads do not allow “nudity or implied nudity” and “excessive visible skin or cleavage, even if not explicitly sexual in nature”.

“We recognise the importance of ads about breast cancer education or teaching women how to examine their breasts and we allow these on our platforms,” Facebook Australia and New Zealand spokesperson Antonia Sanda told BuzzFeed News.

facebook, iphone, new york
FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

“However, these specific ads do not contain any of these messages, rather it is a brand selling a product,” Sanda added.

Breast cancer survivors, however, criticised the social media giant’s decision to ban the campaign.

“Disgusting that facebook would ban this (ad),” one user wrote in a Facebook comment.

“I am proud of my scars and it’s not nudity it is a reality for so many of us fighting for our lives and I will never be ashamed of them.”

“Hope Facebook lifts the ban – how ridiculous considering what else seems to be acceptable on this site,” said another user.

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“Should us breast cancer survivors be ashamed of our altered bodies? I think not,” another person commented.

“We are still women with beautiful bodies and this sort of campaign helps us to be proud of our bodies not just the fact that we lived.” (IANS)