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42%

15%

Surgical biopsy

Short-term follow-up

"Reprinted from [59] with permission.

"Reprinted from [59] with permission.

features are obtained, classifiers can be designed for the classification of malignant and benign lesions.

Several research groups have shown that the accuracy of computer classification can be comparable to or better than the performance of radiologists. These conclusions were reached after comparing computer classification with radiologists' diagnoses using ROC analysis. These encouraging results suggest that computer classification has the potential to help improve the diagnosis of breast cancer and benign lesions.

Results of observer performance studies showing the effect of computer classification on radiologists' performance is also encouraging. These results show that radiologists can outperform themselves when they use computer classification as an aid, and improve their diagnoses in two ways. With the computer aid, radiologists can potentially send fewer women without breast cancer to biopsy and at the same time correctly diagnose more cancers. With the aid of computer classification, it is possible to reduce the physical and psychological trauma in patients who have benign breast lesions by avoiding unnecessary biopsies without compromising the effectiveness of mammography screening for breast cancer. As a result, the cost associated with mammography screening could be reduced. However, computer classification must also be further developed and tested in larger studies before it can be used clinically, and before its potential in reducing the morbidity and mortality of breast cancer can be realized in clinical medicine.

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