Breast Cancer Risk Localization in Mammography Images using Deep Learning

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with around 9000 new diagnoses in Sweden yearly. Detecting and localizing risk of breast cancer could give the opportunity for individualized examination programs and preventative measures if necessary, and potentially be lifesaving. In this study, two deep learning methods have been designed, trained and evaluated on mammograms from healthy patients whom were later diagnosed with breast cancer, to examine how well deep learning models can localize suspicious areas in mammograms. The first proposed model is a ResNet-18 regression model which predicts the pixel coordinates of the annotated target pixel in the prior mammograms. The regression model produces predictions with an average of 44.25mm between the predictions and targets on the test set, which for average sized breasts correspond to a general area of the breast, and not a specific location. The regression network is hence not able to accurately localize suspicious areas in mammograms. The second model is a U-net segmentation model that segments out a risk area in the mammograms. The segmentation model had a 25% IoU, meaning that there is on average a 25% overlap between the target area and the prediction area. 57% of the predictions of the segmentation network had some overlap with the target mask, and predictions that did not overlap with the target often marked high density areas that are traditionally associated with high risk. Overall, the segmentation model did better than the regression model, but needs further improvement before it can be considered adequate to merge with a risk value model and used in practice. However, it is evident that there is sufficient information present in many of the mammogram images to localize the risk, and the research area holds potential for future improvements.

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