[MOL] Computer Provides Second Opinion on Breast Lumps [02195] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Computer Provides Second Opinion on Breast Lumps

Computer Provides Second Opinion on Breast Lumps
    [06/15/2000; Reuters News Service]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A computer programmed to 
interpret digital ultrasounds can offer a fast and accurate
second opinion in cases where a breast lump is suspected to be
cancer, results of a study suggest.The machine, known as a
diagnostic (CAD) system, diagnosed breast cancer from an ultrasound
with 90% accuracy. This rate is very similar to that of an experienced
radiologist, report researchers in the June issue of the Archives
of Surgery.While the role of CAD in the diagnosis of breast cancer
is controversial, the computer can be easily adapted to ultrasound
equipment already in routine use, through a personal computer
loaded with special software. 

``The proposed CAD can provide an immediate second opinion and
an accurate preoperative diagnosis can be routinely established
for surgical office-based ultrasound of the breast,'' lead author
Dr. Ruey-Feng Chang with the National Chung Cheng University
in Taiwan, told Reuters Health. The system was also shown to reduce
the rate of false positives, where a benign tumor is wrongly
thought to be malignant. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound
waves to image body parts and the fetus. These waves are converted
by a computer into an image displayed on a computer screen. Breast
ultrasound is sometimes used to evaluate breast abnormalities
that are found during mammography, or an x-ray of the breast.

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