Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show an efficient method for the detection of signs of early lung cancer. Various image processing algorithms are presented for different types of lesions, and a scheme is proposed for the combination of results. Design/methodology/approach – A computer aided detection (CAD) scheme was developed for detection of lung cancer. It enables different lesion enhancer algorithms, sensitive to specific lesion subtypes, to be used simultaneously. Three image processing algorithms are presented for the detection of small nodules, large ones, and infiltrated areas. The outputs are merged, the false detection rate is reduced with four separated support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. The classifier input comes from a feature selection algorithm selecting from various textural and geometric features. A total of 761 images were used for testing, including the database of the Japanese Society of Radiological Technology (JSRT). Findings – The fusion of algorithms reduced false positives on average by 0.6 per image, while the sensitivity remained 80 per cent. On the JSRT database the system managed to find 60.2 per cent of lesions at an average of 2.0 false positives per image. The effect of using different result evaluation criteria was tested and a difference as high as 4 percentage points in sensitivity was measured. The system was compared to other published methods. Originality/value – The study described in the paper proves the usefulness of lesion enhancement decomposition, while proposing a scheme for the fusion of algorithms. Furthermore, a new algorithm is introduced for the detection of infiltrated areas, possible signs of lung cancer, neglected by previous solutions.
International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 23, 2012
Keywords: Programming and algorithm theory; Image processing; Cancer; Radiography; Medical diagnosis; Lung nodule; Infiltrated area; Chest radiograph; Lung cancer; Early detection