Saturday December 14, 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

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Cancer
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)

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Regular Use Of Hair Dye And Straightener May Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer

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Breast cancer pink ribbon
Breast cancer survival rates are rising as screening and treatment improve. Pixabay

Researchers have found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t use these products.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that this risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.

“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” said study author Alexandra White from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in US.

“In our study, we see a higher risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users,” White said.

Using data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study, researchers at NIEHS, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were nine per cent more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer.

Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60 per cent increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an eight per cent increased risk for white women.

The research team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.

Permanent hair dye risks breast cancer
Women who regularly use permanent hair dye could be increasing their risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent, according to scientists writing in the International Journal of Cancer. Pixabay

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer.

While the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women, straightener use was much more common among African American women, the study said.

The researchers cautioned that although there is some prior evidence to support the association with chemical straighteners, these results need to be replicated in other studies.

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When asked if women should stop dyeing or straightening their hair, study co-author Dale Sandler, “We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk.

“While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” Sandler said.(IANS)