NEW YORK: A computer is as good as a second pair of eyes for helping a radiologist spot breast cancer on a mammogram, one of the largest and most rig
orous tests of computer-aided detection found. Like spell-checkers looking for mistakes, the computers flag suspicious areas on X-rays for a closer look by a radiologist. Mammograms are used to screen women for early signs of breast cancer but the tests aren’t perfect. In the US, the X-rays are read by a single radiologist and cancers are sometimes missed. Computer-aided detection, or CAD, was developed to help radiologists pick up more cancers. Approved a decade ago, these computer programs are now used for about a third of the nation's mammograms. But the value and accuracy of the technology has continued to be debated. British experts found that computer-aided detection spotted nearly the same number of cancers, 198 out of 227, compared to 199 for the two readers.