Breast cancer detection using deep convolutional neural networks and support vector machines

Dina A. Ragab, Maha Sharkas , Stephen Marshall, Jinchang Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


It is important to detect breast cancer as early as possible. In this manuscript, a new methodology for classifying breast cancer using deep learning and some segmentation techniques are introduced. A new computer aided detection (CAD) system is proposed for classifying benign and malignant mass tumors in breast mammography images. In this CAD system, two segmentation approaches are used. The first approach involves determining the region of interest (ROI) manually, while the second approach uses the technique of threshold and region based. The deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) is used for feature extraction. A well-known DCNN architecture named AlexNet is used and is fine-tuned to classify two classes instead of 1000 classes. The last fully connected (fc) layer is connected to the support vector machine (SVM) classifier to obtain better accuracy. The results are obtained using the following publicly available datasets (1) the digital database for screening mammography (DDSM); and (2) the Curated Breast Imaging Subset of DDSM (CBIS-DDSM). Training on a large number of data gives high accuracy rate. Nevertheless, the biomedical datasets contain a relatively small number of samples due to limited patient volume. Accordingly, data augmentation is a method for increasing the size of the input data by generating new data from the original input data. There are many forms for the data augmentation; the one used here is the rotation. The accuracy of the new-trained DCNN architecture is 71.01% when cropping the ROI manually from the mammogram. The highest area under the curve (AUC) achieved was 0.88 (88%) for the samples obtained from both segmentation techniques. Moreover, when using the samples obtained from the CBIS-DDSM, the accuracy of the DCNN is increased to 73.6%. Consequently, the SVM accuracy becomes 87.2% with an AUC equaling to 0.94 (94%). This is the highest AUC value compared to previous work using the same conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6201
Pages (from-to)e6201
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019


  • breast cancer detection
  • computer aided detection
  • mammogram


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