Breast cancer may be detected earlier using a computer-assisted detection system ( CAD) , according to a recent study. CAD is a computer-based analysis designed to find breast abnormalities. It identifies calcifications in the breast that appear only as tiny white specks on mammography film. These tiny white specks could be early cancers.
Researchers reviewed the cases of 519 patients with breast cancer. Breast-imaging specialists used CAD to scan and analyze the missed cancers of mammograms and had the potential to identify 71 percent of them. The CAD was able to mark tumors as suspicious on mammograms taken one year before the diagnosis of cancer.
Overall, the false-negative rate before the CAD screening was 31 percent compared to 19 percent after the CAD analysis. However researchers say that the CAD is not a replacement for readings by radiologists, but it can assist in isolating irregularities in the breast for the doctor to re-evaluate.
Thus researchers conclude saying that finding cancer earlier is the best way to increase cancer-free survival, resulting in less surgery, less chemotherapy, and less emotional stress for the patient and his or her family.