Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Researchers create AI approach for cervical cancer screening

The Medical Minute: Screenings, vaccine prevent cervical cancer AI beats expert doctors at finding cervical pre-cancers
Samantha Long | 13 January, 2019, 23:23

"In fact, the computer analysis of the images was better at identifying precancer than a human expert reviewer of Pap tests under the microscope (cytology)".

The team says the AI model is faster, cheaper and more accurate than current measures, and could expand to countries that have limited access to advanced screening methods.

Researchers have developed a novel Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based computer algorithm that can identify cervical cancer with greater accuracy than a human expert, an advance that could revolutionise screening, particularly in low-resource settings.

"Because of the prospective nature of the study, the researchers gained almost complete information on which cervical changes became precancers and which did not", NIH said in the release.

Ministry of Health and Population, in a bid to combat cervical cancer in the country, is introducing a vaccine for nine year- old girls throughout the country and the launching ceremony is scheduled for January 10,2019 in Mangochi District.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition is urging women to make a New Year's resolution to talk with their health care providers.

Catching these changes early, when they're still easily treatable, could help save the lives of many women, said study leader Dr. Mark Schiffman and colleagues.

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"In our first pass [with this technique], we can identify half of women who in the future will get precancer", said Schiffman, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's division of cancer epidemiology and genetics. This technology also helps in improving the quality of treatment for the disease. In 2016, less than two-thirds (64.6%) of the 27,4178 women aged 30 to 65 years were up to date with cervical cancer screening, most of whom (60.8%) were screened with a Pap-HPV cotest within 5 years.

"Machine learning actually outperformed human experts by a considerable margin".

Other risk factors of cervical cancer include smoking, autoimmune diseases, using birth control pills for five or more years, giving birth to three or more children and having several sexual partners. And it has the advantage of requiring very little resources.

Artificial intelligence could be much more accurate than humans and traditional tests to detect cervical pre-cancers, according to United States researchers Thursday. He envisions it being used in areas where women need to be screened and treated on the same day if the tests show any areas of concern. However, this method is known to be inaccurate and needs improvement, the study said.

According to a press release, over the past four decades, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%.

Overall, the algorithm performed better than all standard screening tests at predicting all cases diagnosed during the Costa Rica study.

The health department, along with the Sampson County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) Advisory Board will promote the "Teal Ribbon Campaign" which serves as a reminder for all women to get cervical screenings.

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