CAD is a sophisticated technology that assists radiologists in interpreting mammograms by digitizing the image and analyzing areas on the mammogram that may contain features associated with cancer.
Functioning like a “spellchecker” for medical images, the CAD system will identify suspicious features that may warrant a second review by the radiologists. The computer identifies and marks two types of abnormalities:
- Micro-calcifications - clusters of bright, white specks (denoted by a triangle on the screen)
- Spiculations - dense regions of radiating lines indicating a mass that may suggest the presence of cancer (denoted by a asterisk on the screen)
Once the computer marks these areas, the radiologist can focus on specific areas and further analyze spots that the computer has determined may be suspicious.