Screening ultrasound (US) is increasingly used as a supplement to mammography in women with dense breasts, and more than 80% of cancers detected by US alone are 1 cm or smaller. An adaptive computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system based on tumor size was proposed to classify breast tumors detected at screening US images using quantitative morphological and textural features. In the present study, a database containing 156 tumors (78 benign and 78 malignant) was separated into two subsets of different tumor sizes (<1 cm and ⩾1 cm) to explore the improvement in the performance of the CAD system. After adaptation, the accuracies, sensitivities, specificities and Az values of the CAD for the entire database increased from 73.1% (114/156), 73.1% (57/78), 73.1% (57/78), and 0.790 to 81.4% (127/156), 83.3% (65/78), 79.5% (62/78), and 0.852, respectively. In the data subset of tumors larger than 1 cm, the performance improved from 66.2% (51/77), 68.3% (28/41), 63.9% (23/36), and 0.703 to 81.8% (63/77), 85.4% (35/41), 77.8% (28/36), and 0.855, respectively. The proposed CAD system can be helpful to classify breast tumors detected at screening US.
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