AI could improve breast cancer detection

The study, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, is the latest to show that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve the accuracy of screening for breast cancer, which affects one in eight women globally.

Radiologists miss about 20 per cent of breast cancers in mammograms, the American Cancer Society says, and half of all women who get the screenings over a 10-year period have a false positive result.

The findings of the study, developed with Alphabet’s DeepMind AI unit which merged with Google Health in September, represent a major advance in the potential for the early detection of breast cancer, said Mozziyar Etemadi, one of its co-authors from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

The team, which included researchers at Imperial College London and Britain’s National Health Service, trained the system to identify breast cancers on tens of thousands of mammograms.

They then compared its predictions to the actual results from a set of 25,856 mammograms in the UK and 3097 from the US.

The study showed the AI system could identify cancers with a similar degree of accuracy to expert radiologists, while reducing the number of false positive results by 5.7 per cent in the US-based group and by 1.2 per cent in the British-based group.

It also cut the number of false negatives, where tests are wrongly classified as normal, by 9.4 per cent in the US group, and by 2.7 per cent in the British group.

These differences reflect the ways in which mammograms are read.

In the United States, only one radiologist reads the results and the tests are done every one to two years.

In Britain, the tests are done every three years, and each is read by two radiologists. When they disagree, a third is consulted.

In a separate test, the group pitted the AI system against six radiologists and found it outperformed them at accurately predicting breast cancers.

Although computers have not been “super helpful” so far, “what we’ve shown at least in tens of thousands of mammograms is the tool can actually make a very well-informed decision,” Etemadi said.

The study has some limitations. Most of the tests were done using the same type of imaging equipment, and the US group contained a lot of patients with confirmed breast cancers.

More studies will be needed to show that when used by radiologists, the tool improves patient care, and it will require regulatory approval, which could take several years.

Support Session

Free information session to support cancer survivors

Support is an important part of any cancer journey – which is why Cancer Council Queensland is hosting a free support and information session this month for locals who have finished or are near the end of initial treatment for cancer and their loved ones.

Treatment’s finished…What now? will be held on Friday, November 22 from 9am – 12pm at Cancer Council Queensland’s Gold Coast office at 1 Short St, Southport.

The session will provide information on lymphoedema symptoms and treatment, long term and late side effects of treatment, survivorship and offer ways to cope with the physical and emotional changes that occur.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said more people are surviving cancer today than any other time in history.

“More people are surviving cancer as a result of advancements in cancer research and treatment options,” Ms McMillan said.

“Following treatment, cancer survivors have a range of physical, psychological and social needs that can’t be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach.

“This free session will help those impacted by cancer as they adjust to life after cancer treatment.

“Our information session will cover a range of topics, including dealing with various emotions, late effects of treatment, and psychological and social transitions.”

Ms McMillan said the session created an opportunity for locals to connect with other people dealing with the same issues.

“Sharing experiences with others in a supportive environment can help those affected by cancer know that they are not alone,” Ms McMillan said.

“We encourage all cancer survivors, their friends and families, to join us for a morning of support and information.”

Registrations for the information session are open until November 15. To reserve your space, please visit, or call 131120.


Urgent measles alert issued for Gold Coast after ANOTHER confirmed case

There’s been a fresh measles scare for the Gold Coast after a person visited a number of locations in the north while infected with the highly contagious disease.

Gold Coast Health issued the urgent alert on Friday after being “notified of a case of measles on the Gold Coast.”

They said the person was isolated during most of the infectious period, however urged anyone who has visited Brygon Creek Chempro Chemist on Tuesday 15 October between 4.45pm and 5.30pm and 7-eleven Pimpama on the afternoon of 17 October, to be alert for measles symptoms.

“In view of this new case, the current measles outbreak in Brisbane’s South and the ongoing significant measles outbreak in New Zealand, we ask people in the locations above at these times,
as well as the public in general, to be alert for symptoms of measles over the next three weeks,” Gold Coast Health said in a statement.

“We encourage travellers to ensure they are vaccinated before their departure and to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of measles three weeks after their return to Australia.”

The initial symptoms of measles can include fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore red eyes.

This is followed a few days later by a blotchy, red rash which often starts on the face and then becomes widespread over the body.

“If you have any of the measles symptoms contact your GP – it is VERY important to call the medical practice first if you think you might have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading it to others,” Gold Coast Health warned.

60 percent of Gold Coasters deemed overweight or obese

It’s been revealed more than half of Gold Coasters are overweight or obese, but we’re still doing better than the whole of Queensland.

In light of World Obesity Day last week, new figures have showed that 60.5 percent of Gold Coast adults are overweight or obese.

To fall into that ‘overweight’ category, you must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 29.9, ‘obesity’ requires a BMI of 30 or above.

The Gold Coast has clocked a 28.3 percent obesity rate in adults, according to the latest figures from the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University.

It falls second only to Brisbane’s rate, which was the lowest in the state at 23.8 percent.

The Mitchell Institute analysis claims the overweight/obesity rates around the country seem to correspond closely to where people live.


Shocking data released for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Shocking new data has revealed breast cancer could claim thousands more lives over the next decade, if adequate research isn’t done.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) released the data to coincide with the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It shows another 30,000 lives could be lost to breast cancer over the next decade, without adequate research investment.

The data also revealed the following data:

  •  A woman’s risk of breast cancer is now 1 in 7, up from 1 in 8 in the last year alone.
  •  8 women would continue to die every day which is the 2nd highest cancer killer in Australian
  • Over 76,000 Australians would also lose a direct family member – a mother, sister, or daughter
    by 2030.
  • Australia would stand to lose over $1.868 billion in wages just through lives lost to breast
    cancer, this year alone.

The NBCF has funded vital life-saving research into breast cancer since 1994, with data now showing that funds have saved over 44,000 lives in this time.

Funding has helped find new risk factors, improve early detection and create more effective, less harsh treatment options.

Professor Sarah Hosking, CEO of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, believes no-one should have to die from breast cancer, and that continued investment to life-saving research is the only way to change these statistics.

“This year alone nearly 20,000 Australians, both men and women, will come face to face with the disease and unfortunately more than 3,000 will lose their life.

“This doesn’t have to be the case though; the National Breast Cancer Foundation has launched an ambitious target of zero deaths by 2030 but it is up to everyday Australians to help us achieve it.

“Our target is possible but only if we continue to receive direct investment for the world-class research we fund.

“We are at a critical juncture whereby a future where no Australian has to lose a parent, partner, sibling or child to this devastating disease is in sight.

“By investing in NBCF’s vision of zero deaths from breast cancer, they can support our game-changing research projects and help us achieve the target,” Ms Hosking said.