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Ultrawideband microwave breast cancer detection: a detection-theoretic approach using the generalized likelihood ratio test

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4 Author(s)
Davis, S.K. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; Tandradinata, H. ; Hagness, S.C. ; Van Veen, B.D.

Microwave imaging has been suggested as a promising modality for early-stage breast cancer detection. In this paper, we propose a statistical microwave imaging technique wherein a set of generalized likelihood ratio tests (GLRT) is applied to microwave backscatter data to determine the presence and location of strong scatterers such as malignant tumors in the breast. The GLRT is formulated assuming that the backscatter data is Gaussian distributed with known covariance matrix. We describe the method for estimating this covariance matrix offline and formulating a GLRT for several heterogeneous two-dimensional (2-D) numerical breast phantoms, several three-dimensional (3-D) experimental breast phantoms, and a 3-D numerical breast phantom with a realistic half-ellipsoid shape. Using the GLRT with the estimated covariance matrix and a threshold chosen to constrain the false discovery rate (FDR) of the image, we show the capability to detect and localize small (<0.6 cm) tumors in our numerical and experimental breast phantoms even when the dielectric contrast of the malignant-to-normal tissue is below 2:1.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 7 )