Vara | Interval Cancers

Coming Soon: Can AI help prevent interval cancers?

Among women participating in breast cancer screening, some breast cancers will be clinically detected and diagnosed in the period between routine screening rounds.

These are known as interval cancers. Most of these interval cancers are newly detectable cancers that developed since the last screening appointment. However, some interval cancers were visible at the last screen, but were not recalled for further tests because the signs of cancer were subtle and thought to be normal, or were missed completely. These “minimal signs” and “false negative” interval cancers make up about half of cancers that are detected through symptoms in the period after a routine screening round [1].

The introduction of AI can possibly improve the number of breast cancers detected at screening, but this depends on AI's ability to detect cancers that would otherwise be overlooked or missed by radiologists during screening. We will evaluate the potential of AI to prevent interval cancers before they occur.

Sources

[1] Houssami N, Hunter K. The epidemiology, radiology and biological characteristics of interval breast cancers in population mammography screening. NPJ Breast Cancer 2017;3(1):1-13.