A $1 million challenge using Kaiser Permanente data shows how AI can assist in breast cancer screening.
Dense breasts are a risk factor for breast cancer, and the more dense breasts are, the more difficult it can be to detect cancer on mammograms. Many state regulations have been enacted—and more proposed—requiring health providers to tell women if their mammogram shows their breasts are dense.
The trend toward digital mammograms was given a mixed report card in the study Benefits, Harms, and Costs for Breast Cancer Screening After U.S. Implementation of Digital Mammography e-published on May 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Screening for breast cancer every two years appears just as beneficial as yearly mammograms for women age 50–74, with significantly fewer “false positives”—even for women whose breasts were dense or who used hormone therapy for menopause.
In 10 years of annual mammograms, more than half of women without cancer will be called back at least once for more testing. And about one in 12 will be referred for a biopsy, according to a study of national Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium data in the Annals of Internal Medicine.