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Principal Investigator
Michele La Ferla
B.Sc., B.A.
University of Malta
Position Title
Masters Student
About this CDAS Project
PLCO (Learn more about this study)
Project ID
Initial CDAS Request Approval
Feb 19, 2020
A Machine Learning Approach to Diagnosing Breast Cancer
This project will use a machine learning approach to train a model to classify a benign or malign cancer tumor at the earliest stages possible. It will be using the pathological stages obtained from PLCO to train the mentioned model of a convolutional neural network. In particular, this study will take into consideration the patient's family medical history to verify if any of the patient’s family members have a history of breast cancer; and common symptoms with other patients, of which there exist several implementations of solutions from the machine learning field of study.


The study will gather data from large datasets containing symptoms of breast cancer, which coupled with the medical history of the patient and their family members, these cancers would be accurately diagnosed at the earliest stage possible.


The objectives of this research is to:
- Experiment different machine learning techniques and find out which is the best to predict the diagnosis of breast cancer at an earlier stage.The chosen model will be used for training purposes on the dataset and to build the model.
- Use the family history risk factor to have an insight as to whether a patient is more susceptible to be diagnosed with breast cancer or not.
- Verify the results of the model and its algorithms and extract notable conclusions from this study. These conclusions will then be presented to the Maltese medical community.


Michele La Ferla