Computers Help Doctors Spot Breast Cancer

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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When it comes to spotting breast cancer on a mammogram, a computer is as good as a second pair of eyes.

That's the finding of some new research on computer-aided detection.

Just like a spell-checker looking for mistakes, the computers flag suspicious areas on X-rays so a radiologist can take a closer look.

Mammograms are used to screen women for early signs of breast cancer, but they aren't perfect. In the U.S., the X-rays are read by a single radiologist, and cancers are sometimes missed.

Computers were enlisted to help radiologists find more cancers -- but the value and accuracy of them have been debated.

The new research from Britain involves a study of 31,000 women. The researchers found that the computers spotted nearly the same number of cancers as the second radiologist did.

The findings are published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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