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This paper studies the possibility of distinguishing between benign and malignant masses by exploiting the morphology-dependent temporal and spectral characteristics of their microwave backscatter response in ultra-wideband breast cancer detection. The spiculated border profiles of 2-D breast masses are generated by modifying the baseline elliptical rings based upon the irregularity of their peripheries. Furthermore, the single- and multilayer lesion models are used to characterize a distinct mass region followed by a sharp transition to background, and a blurred mass border exhibiting a gradual transition to background, respectively. Subsequently, the complex natural resonances (CNRs) of the backscatter microwave signature can be derived from the late-time target response and reveal diagnostically useful information. The fractional sequence CLEAN algorithm is proposed to estimate the lesions' delay intervals and identify the late-time responses. Finally, it is shown through numerical examples that the locations of dominant CNRs are dependent on the lesion morphologies, where 2-D computational breast phantoms with single and multiple lesions are investigated. The analysis is of potential use for discrimination between benign and malignant lesions, where the former usually possesses a better-defined, more compact shape as opposed to the latter.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2008