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18 March 2013 Automated assessment of bilateral breast volume asymmetry as a breast cancer biomarker during mammographic screening
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Proceedings Volume 8670, Medical Imaging 2013: Computer-Aided Diagnosis; 86701A (2013) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2008019
Event: SPIE Medical Imaging, 2013, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando Area), Florida, United States
Abstract
The biological concept of bilateral symmetry as a marker of developmental stability and good health is well established. Although most individuals deviate slightly from perfect symmetry, humans are essentially considered bilaterally symmetrical. Consequently, increased fluctuating asymmetry of paired structures could be an indicator of disease. There are several published studies linking bilateral breast size asymmetry with increased breast cancer risk. These studies were based on radiologists’ manual measurements of breast size from mammographic images. We aim to develop a computerized technique to assess fluctuating breast volume asymmetry in screening mammograms and investigate whether it correlates with the presence of breast cancer. Using a large database of screening mammograms with known ground truth we applied automated breast region segmentation and automated breast size measurements in CC and MLO views using three well established methods. All three methods confirmed that indeed patients with breast cancer have statistically significantly higher fluctuating asymmetry of their breast volumes. However, statistically significant difference between patients with cancer and benign lesions was observed only for the MLO views. The study suggests that automated assessment of global bilateral asymmetry could serve as a breast cancer risk biomarker for women undergoing mammographic screening. Such biomarker could be used to alert radiologists or computer-assisted detection (CAD) systems to exercise increased vigilance if higher than normal cancer risk is suspected.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Alex C. Williams, Austin Hitt, Sophie Voisin, and Georgia Tourassi "Automated assessment of bilateral breast volume asymmetry as a breast cancer biomarker during mammographic screening", Proc. SPIE 8670, Medical Imaging 2013: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 86701A (18 March 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2008019
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