The fight against cancer has received a significant boost after a study in Japan highlighted the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) in detecting cancer tumors before they are sufficiently advanced.
Using an AI program, researchers observed a colorectal polyp that that was magnified 500 times to enhance visibility in its variations. From these variations, researchers counter-checked the available information against existing database and the AI program could make predictions on what would happen to the polyp in a matter of seconds. The experiment recorded an 86% accuracy.
Presenting the results of the study at the United European Gastroenterology conference in Barcelona, Dr. Yuichi Mori of Showa University expressed high hopes that the results would be ” acceptable for clinical application and our immediate goal is to obtain regulatory approval for the diagnostic system,”
If approved, the diagnostic system would be significant in detecting colorectal cancer which is ranked the second deadliest form cancer after lung cancer. In its advanced stages, colorectal cancer cells can penetrate the thin tissues of the colon, rectum and intestine to find their way directly into the bloodstream.
The benign growths begin at the colon progressing gradually to cancerous tumors.
There are some procedures used to detect colorectal cancer including colonoscopy and Virtual Colonoscopy. In a colonoscopy, doctors are able to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps. A thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing known as a colonoscopy is inserted through the rectum into the colon.
In virtual colonoscopy, x-rays procedures known as computed tomography are used to make a series of pictures of the colon, which are then put together for details to show polyps and any other unusual occurrence in the colon.
With the advanced technology that the Japanese researchers are working on, the detection of colorectal cancer will be made much easier. Dr. Mori’s hopes that this technology will be put into use as soon as possible, to help save lives.