Computer-aided detection aids cancer testing, treatment

Computer-aided detection (CAD) can help identify and treat cancer, new research suggests.

According to the study, published in this month's American Journal of Roentgenology, CAD improved the likelihood for radiologists to identify cancer that initially went undetected during a screening. The study's authors said that radiologists failed to recognize a correct computer prompt in 70 percent of missed cancer cases.

"For CAD to be effective, the computer must be able to detect a malignant lesion that a radiologist would miss clinically, and the radiologist must be able to recognize when the computer has detected a malignant lesion," the study's authors wrote. They said that CAD use increases radiology sensitivity by a "statistically significant" 9.9 percent.

Meanwhile, researchers in Iran earlier this month were able to use CAD technology in early diagnosis of breast cancer, ISNA reported. Nader Riahi Alam, an assistant professor in the medical physics and biomedical engineering department at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, created a system to conduct sieve mammography with a CAD system.

Alam's work is a contrast to research published last summer that concluded that CAD use for breast cancer patients leads to unnecessary tests. That study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that CAD technology does a poor job of detecting tumors in breast cancer patients. Records for more than 680,000 women who underwent roughly 1.6 million film-screen mammograms from 1998 through 2006 were examined for the study.

To learn more:
- read the AJR study's abstract
- here's the ISNA article

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