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Breast lesion characterization for discriminating between localized malignant and benign lesions is important as the current breast screening techniques do not have the required specificity to be clinically acceptable. A method using ultrawideband (UWB) microwave imaging system for such classification is proposed in this paper. The early time portion of the backscatter breast response is processed for lesion discrimination. This method provides a high resolution since the early time lesion response has the largest signal strength. A correlator is used at the receiver to extract the early response and to quantify the degree of ruggedness of a lesion through several key parameters associated with the correlation operation. Subsequently, a large scale simulation study using a two-dimensional (2D) numerical breast model with an antenna array is used for the development of a lesion classification technique. It is shown that the lesion classification method is capable of discriminating between lesions with different morphologies.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2010