Anika Cheerla

Beating Breast Cancer with Better Tests

Anika Cheerla, United States Global finalist, 13-15

As a young woman, Anika (14) of Cupertino, California is acutely aware of the health problems facing women around the world. In particular, women are at risk of breast cancer as they age, the second leading cause of death among women with cancer, which causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Curious about how current medicine predicts the likelihood of breast cancer, she researched current testing methods and was disturbed to discover that more than 1/3 of the predictive tests using digital mammograms are inaccurate, relying on a 64% Area Under the Curve (AUC) accuracy that is too low to be useful. So, Anika set out to create a more accurate testing model, designing software that analyzes digital mammograms with 84% AUC accuracy. Anika is excited to offer a solution for predicting breast cancer that could eliminate costly and painful invasive procedures for women while helping them enjoy healthier, longer lives.

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