Mammogram-reading AI can detect breast cancer risk 5 years before onset

A deep learning model trained in mammography is able to predict the development of breast cancer up to five years in advance, according to a study published in Radiology on May 7.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital used the known cancer outcomes and nearly 89,000 mammograms of 39,571 women to train the model to recognize subtle patterns in breast tissue that indicate the formation of malignant tumors.

As a result, the model accurately characterized 31 percent of cancer patients as high-risk, while traditional models only identified 18 percent as such. The model was also equally accurate for patients of all races, notable because many traditional models have only been trained on white patients' data, leading to lower rates of detection in non-white populations.

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