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Mammography news According to a recent review, routine mammography screenings for breast cancer, offered to women in younger ages, are of limited value for women with low or average risk of the disease. The review indicated that for every woman, at the age of 50, who receive benefits from mammography, dozens of other women undergo unneeded breast cancer treatment. In addition, hundreds of women receive false positive results for breast cancer.

Cindy M. Grimm, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, commented on the results of the review. She said "It's not just the mammogram that's the problem," she says, "it's accurately interpreting the mammogram. People aren't good at it. Even expert radiologists aren't good at it. Results vary widely from person to person, even when people have gone through the same training."

Professor Grimm added that with a new approach, recently designed by her and her team, some improvements in skills of radiologists could be achieved. The new approach is called subtle gaze direction.

In a recent study, it was found that a novice could be subtly guided so he or she can follow a scanpath of an expert throughout mammograms. It was noted that subtle nudging enhanced the skills of novice radiologists.

Professor Grimm spoke further about subtle gaze direction. She said "I had double-majored in art and computer science as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. So I was aware that artists have all sorts of tricks for guiding viewers to look at particular areas in a painting, sometimes, in the case of narrative art, in a particular sequence. "

She continued "They might make an area brighter than the background, increase the contrast or have strong edges (borders) that attract the eye. Movie producers do the same thing in post processing,"

Professor Grimm concluded "For example, when one actor is talking and others are listening, the audience tends to watch the talker. But the producer can direct attention to a listener's reaction instead by changing the color or brightness of that part of the image."


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