A method for automatically locating microcalcifications indicating breast cancer. The invention assists mammographers in finding very subtle microcalcifications and in recognizing the pattern formed by all the microcalcifications. It also draws attention to microcalcifications that might be overlooked because a more prominent feature draws attention away from an important object. A new filter has been designed to weed out false positives in one of the steps of the method. Previously, iterative selection threshold was used to separate microcalcifications from the spurious signals resulting from texture or other background. A Selective Erosion or Enhancement (SEE) Filter has been invented to improve this step. Since the algorithm detects areas containing potential calcifications on the mammogram, it can be used to determine which areas need be stored at the highest resolution available, while, in addition, the full mammogram can be reduced to an appropriate resolution for the remaining cancer signs.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.