An early-stage study has found that artificial intelligence could make detecting cancer a less lengthy medical process for patients and doctors. Researchers looked at scans from more than 80,000 women in Sweden who underwent a mammogram for breast cancer screening between April 2021 and July 2022. The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, showed that AI could cut down the time it takes for doctors to identify cancer in patients. Research shows that cancer is easier to manage when discovered early, at a stage where it isn’t too large and hasn’t spread.

The latest study reveals that AI could read and detect 20 percent more cancers than two highly experienced radiologists could after reading mammograms without technical assistance. The technological advantage could significantly reduce the workload and shorten the time between diagnosis and treatment.

Disparities in Breast Cancer

In 2022, the American Cancer Society published a study into the disproportionate effects of breast cancer on Black women. In the study, the ACS found that although Black women have a lower cancer diagnosis rate, they experience a higher death rate than their white counterparts. The study states that “Black women have double the risk of dying from uterine corpus (endometrial) cancer and are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer even though their incidence rates are similar to or lower than those of White women.”

While AI is still an emerging technology, AI programs are currently being developed to assist radiologists in cancer detection. MIT is creating an AI program focused on detecting high risk of future breast cancer based on present mammograms – something doctors are not able to do now.