End in sight for cervical cancer with algorithm
Artificial intelligence may be poised to wipe out cervical cancer, after a study this week showed computer algorithms could detect pre-cancerous lesions far better than trained experts or conventional screening tests.
According to the World Health Organisation, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases globally in 2018.
Despite major advances in screening and vaccination, which can prevent the spread of human papillomavirus which causes most cases of cervical cancer, those gains have mainly benefited women in rich nations.
“We are trying to find ways that are extremely cheap, extremely easy but very accurate, so that we can attack cervical cancer by vaccine and also a bit later through a simple technique that is cellphone based or something like it,” said senior author Mark Schiffman, a doctor at the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics near Washington who has been searching for a cure to cervical cancer for 35 years. —