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24 March 2014 Automated breast tissue density assessment using high order regional texture descriptors in mammography
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death among women in the US. The relative survival rate is lower among women with a more advanced stage at diagnosis. Early detection through screening is vital. Mammography is the most widely used and only proven screening method for reliably and effectively detecting abnormal breast tissues. In particular, mammographic density is one of the strongest breast cancer risk factors, after age and gender, and can be used to assess the future risk of disease before individuals become symptomatic. A reliable method for automatic density assessment would be beneficial and could assist radiologists in the evaluation of mammograms. To address this problem, we propose a density classification method which uses statistical features from different parts of the breast. Our method is composed of three parts: breast region identification, feature extraction and building ensemble classifiers for density assessment. It explores the potential of the features extracted from second and higher order statistical information for mammographic density classification. We further investigate the registration of bilateral pairs and time-series of mammograms. The experimental results on 322 mammograms demonstrate that (1) a classifier using features from dense regions has higher discriminative power than a classifier using only features from the whole breast region; (2) these high-order features can be effectively combined to boost the classification accuracy; (3) a classifier using these statistical features from dense regions achieves 75% accuracy, which is a significant improvement from 70% accuracy obtained by the existing approaches.
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Yan Nei Law, Monica Keiko Lieng, Jingmei Li, and David Aik-Aun Khoo "Automated breast tissue density assessment using high order regional texture descriptors in mammography", Proc. SPIE 9035, Medical Imaging 2014: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 90351Q (24 March 2014);

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