Computer Aided Detection (CAD)
What is Computer Aided Detection (CAD)?
Computer Aided Detection (CAD) is a sophisticated scanner and computer program that marks potential areas of concern on the mammogram. CAD has been shown to improve radiologists’ accuracy when reading mammograms. All mammograms at our clinic are read using CAD technology.
How does CAD Work?
CAD is a tool for the radiologist, the doctor that reads your mammogram. Its results can not stand alone--they require the doctor's interpretation. Our CAD system digitally scans the mammogram and marks areas of concern that may be cancer.
CAD does have some limitations. It cannot say what is or is not a cancer; only a biopsy can do that. However, it does mark areas of concern. The CAD device cannot detect all visible cancers.
The CAD places an average of two marks per mammogram. The majority of these marks are not cancer. For example, out of 16,000 marks, only 110 resulted in cancer. It is up to the doctor to decide if a marked area needs additional follow-up.
In order for the CAD to mark a cancer, it must be visible on the mammogram. A very small percentage of cancers are not visible on the mammogram. CAD cannot help in these cases, so it is still important to do breast self-exams and see your doctor regularly for a routine breast exam. If you feel a lump and it is getting larger, even if we told you the mammogram is normal, you need to call the clinic or your doctor for a follow-up.