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Title: Feature detection in mammographic image analysis
Author: Linguraru, Marius George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 5610
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2004
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In modern society, cancer has become one of the most terrifying diseases because of its high and increasing death rate. The disease's deep impact demands extensive research to detect and eradicate it in all its forms. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, and approximately one in nine women in the Western world will develop it over the course of their lives. Screening programmes have been shown to reduce the mortality rate, but they introduce an enormous amount of information that must be processed by radiologists on a daily basis. Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD) systems aim to assist clinicians in their decision-making process, by acting as a second opinion and helping improve the detection and classification ratios by spotting very difficult and subtle cases. Although the field of cancer detection is rapidly developing and crosses over imaging modalities, X-ray mammography remains the principal tool to detect the first signs of breast cancer in population screening. The advantages and disadvantages of other imaging modalities for breast cancer detection are discussed along with the improvements and difficulties encountered in screening programmes. Remarkable achievements to date in breast CAD are equally presented. This thesis introduces original results for the detection of features from mammographic image analysis to improve the effectiveness of early cancer screening programmes. The detection of early signs of breast cancer is vital in managing such a fast developing disease with poor survival rates. Some of the earliest signs of cancer in the breast are the clusters of microcalcifications. The proposed method is based on image filtering comprising partial differential equations (PDE) for image enhancement. Subsequently, microcalcifications are segmented using characteristics of the human visual system, based on the superior qualities of the human eye to depict localised changes of intensity and appearance in an image. Parameters are set according to the image characteristics, which makes the method fully automated. The detection of breast masses in temporal mammographic pairs is also investigated as part of the development of a complete breast cancer detection tool. The design of this latter algorithm is based on the detection sequence used by radiologists in clinical routine. To support the classification of masses into benign or malignant, novel tumour features are introduced. Image normalisation is another key concept discussed in this thesis along with its benefits for cancer detection.
Supervisor: Brady, J. Michael Sponsor: University of Oxford - Scatcherd European Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Engineering & allied sciences ; Technology and Applied Sciences ; Biomedical engineering ; Image understanding ; Mathematical modeling (engineering) ; medical imaging ; image processing ; cancer detection ; breast cancer ; microcalcifications ; curvilinear structures ; tumor ; human visual model