Breast cancer is one of the most common and deadliest types of cancer among women and early detection is of major importance to decrease mortality rates. Microcalcification clusters and masses are two major indicators of malignancy in the early stages of this disease, when mammography is typically used as the screening technology. Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) systems can support the radiologists’ work, by performing a double-reading process, which provides a second opinion that the physician can take into account in the detection process. This paper presents a CAD model based on computer vision procedures for locating suspicious regions that are later analyzed by artificial neural networks, support vector machines and linear discriminant analysis, to classify them into benign or malignant, based on a set of features that are extracted from lesions to characterize their visual content. A genetic algorithm is used to find the subset of features that provide the greatest discriminant power. Our results show that the SVM presented the highest overall accuracy and specificity for classifying microcalcification clusters, while the NN outperformed the rest for mass-classification in the same parameters. Overall accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were measured.
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