Technology to help detect breast cancer during testing

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The Womancare Center of UPMC Horizon will have a new tool for detecting breast cancer beginning Feb. 11: computer aided detection technology for use in screening mammograms.
The system analyzes films from mammograms to identify areas that contain the slightest abnormal or suspicious features and targets them for review by a radiologist.
"CAD is intended to assist the radiologist in reading routine screening mammograms. The technology provides the radiologist with additional information about the presence of characteristics generally accepted to be associated with breast cancer," said Glenn Riley of UPMC.
The program can help by identifying areas that may not have been initially noticed by the radiologist and could lead to the earlier detection of a cancer, he said.
The CAD software program identifies clusters of bright spots that indicate microcalcifications and patterns showing tissue masses or distortions.
"CAD has great potential because it can give radiologists a second pair of highly-trained eyes," said Dr. Scott Pickering, chief of mammography at UPMC Horizon.
Studies of the program have shown up to a 20 percent increase in the number of cancers detected, he said.
The Womancare Center is a joint project of UPMC Horizon and Magee-Womens Hospital of the UPMC Health System.

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