Data mining methods can be used for extracting specific medical knowledge such as important predictors for recurrence of breast cancer in pertinent data material. However, when there is a huge quantity of variables in the data material it is first necessary to identify and select important variables. In this study we present a preprocessing method for selecting important variables in a dataset prior to building a predictive model.
In the dataset, data from 5787 female patients were analysed. To cover more predictors and obtain a better assessment of the outcomes, data were retrieved from three different registers: the regional breast cancer, tumour markers, and cause of death registers. After retrieving information about selected predictors and outcomes from the different registers, the raw data were cleaned by running different logical rules. Thereafter, domain experts selected predictors assumed to be important regarding recurrence of breast cancer. After that, Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) was applied as a dimension reduction technique to preserve the character of the original data.
Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was applied to the resulting dataset for two different analyses with the same settings. Performance of the predictive models was confirmed by ten-fold cross validation. The results showed an increase in the accuracy of the prediction and reduction of the mean absolute error.
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