A perceptual aid to delineating the extent of potential mammographic abnormalities

Being able to accurately determine the extent of a possible malignancy on a mammogram is an important task as this can affect the potential follow up surgical treatment that a woman receives after breast screening. It is known that this can be a difficult task, particularly where the lesion has diffuse abnormalities. A potential computer-aided approach is to employ Hierarchical Clustering-based Segmentation (HCS) and this interactive educational exhibit dynamically demonstrates this technique. HCS is an unsupervised segmentation process that when applied to an image yields a hierarchy of segmentations based on image pixel dissimilarities and so can be used to highlight areas in the mammographic image to aid interpretation.