Scientists use novel computer modeling to detect breast cancer recurrence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Computers these days are for more than just Google searches.

The digital geniuses are playing an increasing role in the medical field. How? As a way to predict if early-stage breast cancer will return.

Researchers from the University of Michigan discovered a way to anticipate if Stage 0 breast cancer will reoccur after the tumor is removed. The new tool allows computers to look at molecules surrounding the cancerous tissue and predict future cancer with a 90% accuracy rate.

“Scientists don’t really understand what leads to (breast) cancer recurrence and that has made it impossible to accurately predict which patients will experience a recurrence and which patients won’t,” Howard Petty, lead researcher, said in a statement.

Stage 0 means the cancer has not yet spread to surrounding areas making it highly curable. The discovery, Petty says, could help doctors decide on the best course of treatment for their patients.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

News 8’s medical reporter, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Gillis, D.Ed., is a classically trained medical physiologist and biobehavioral research scientist. She has been a health, medical and science reporter for over 5 years. Her work has been featured in national media outlets. You can follow her on Instagram @reportergillis and Facebook @DrMaryGillis.