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A novel approach to microcalcification detection using fuzzy logic technique

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3 Author(s)
Heng-Da Cheng ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Utah State Univ., Logan, UT, USA ; Yui Man Lui ; Freimanis, R.I.

Breast cancer continues to be a significant public health problem in the United States. Approximately, 182,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed and 46,000 women die of breast cancer each year. Even more disturbing is the fact that one out of eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Since the cause of breast cancer remains unknown, primary prevention becomes impossible. Computer-aided mammography is an important and challenging task in automated diagnosis. It has great potential over traditional interpretation of film-screen mammography in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Microcalcifications are the earliest sign of breast carcinomas and their detection is one of the key issues for breast cancer control. In this study, a novel approach to microcalcification detection based on fuzzy logic technique is presented. Microcalcifications are first enhanced based on their brightness and nonuniformity. Then, the irrelevant breast structures are excluded by a curve detector. Finally, microcalcifications are located using an iterative threshold selection method. The shapes of microcalcifications are reconstructed and the isolated pixels are removed by employing the mathematical morphology technique. The essential idea of the proposed approach is to apply a fuzzified image of a mammogram to locate the suspicious regions and to interact the fuzzified image with the original image to preserve fidelity. The major advantage of the proposed method is its ability to detect microcalcifications even in very dense breast mammograms. A series of clinical mammograms are employed to test the proposed algorithm and the performance is evaluated by the free-response receiver operating characteristic curve. The experiments aptly show that the microcalcifications can be accurately detected even in very dense mammograms using the proposed approach.

Published in:

Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 3 )