The Role of Deep Learning in Breast Screening

Journal: Current Breast Cancer Reports, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 17–22

Publishing Date: 19th January 2019

Doi: 10.1007/s12609-019-0301-7  


The greatest issue in breast screening is a workforce crisis across the UK, much of Europe and even Japan. Traditional computer-aided detection (CAD) for mammography decision-support could not reach the level of an independent reader. Deep learning (DL) outperforms CAD and is close to surpassing human performance. DL is already capable of decision support and density assessment for 2D full-field digital mammography (FFDM), and is on the cusp of providing consistent, accurate and interpretable mammography reading as an independent reader. A bold vision for the future of breast cancer screening is required if programmes are to maintain double reading standards. DL provides the potential for single reading programmes, such as in the USA, to reach EU double reading accuracy, as well as providing practical support for adoption of the emerging modality of digital breast tomosynthesis.