New AI approach outperforms human experts in identifying cervical pre-cancer

The Medical Minute: Screenings, vaccine prevent cervical cancer

Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO) has said that it is prepared to roll out Cervical Cancer Vaccine campaign which is scheduled to start from January 14 to 18, 2019.

Another cancer precursor is called adenocarcinoma in situ, which is when abnormal cells are found in the glandular tissue that lines the uterus and cervix. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, in 2014, 122,844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in India, whereas 432.2 million women aged 15 years or above are at risk of developing cancer.

'First you get [the algorithm] to recognize the cervix, ' senior author Dr Mark Schiffman of NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, told DailyMail.com. The new technique, called automated visual evaluation, was found to achieve 91% accuracy when detecting precancerous cells, beating human expert accuracy (69%) and pap smears (71%). Researchers gained almost complete information on which cervical changes developed into precancers and which did not. It's no longer the leading cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

In a Minnesota database, 64.6% of women ages 30 to 65 were current on their recommended cervical cancer screening in 2016, while just 53.8% of 21- to 29-year-olds were up to date, reported Kathy MacLaughlin, MD, and colleagues of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in theJournal of Women's Health.

'Cervical cancer has become a health disparity issue, ' said Dr Schiffman.

For the future, the researchers hope to put the program onto a cellphone so that any woman in any country would be able to take a photo of their cervix and get their results back quickly. This screening further helps to detect the cancer at early stages and can be cured to facilitate quality life.

"Machine learning actually outperformed human experts by a considerable margin".

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"Don't hesitate, contact one of the program's providers today to find out if you qualify and to talk about what you can do to prevent cervical cancer", stated Dusic. And it has the advantage of requiring very little resources.

"When this algorithm is combined with advances in HPV vaccination, emerging HPV detection technologies, and improvements in treatment, it is conceivable that cervical cancer could be brought under control, even in low-resource settings", said Maurizio Vecchione, executive vice president of Global Good, in the release.

Dr. Jennifer Wu is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

She said that women in these areas often have limited access to medical clinics.

Schiffman said this method probably wouldn't replace methods now used in the United States.

"While we have made significant strides to decrease mortality from cervical cancer, we continue to see our minority females most commonly stricken with the disease", Ramirez said. The approach was created collaboratively by investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Global Good (link is external), a fund at Intellectual Ventures, and the findings were confirmed independently by experts at the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

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