Screening mammography is the primary preventive strategy for early detection of breast cancer and an essential input to breast cancer risk prediction and application of prevention/risk management guidelines. Identifying regions of interest within mammogram images that are associated with 5- or 10-year breast cancer risk is therefore clinically meaningful. The problem is complicated by the irregular boundary issue posed by the semi-circular domain of the breast area within mammograms. Accommodating the irregular domain is especially crucial when identifying regions of interest, as the true signal comes only from the semi-circular domain of the breast region, and noise elsewhere. We address these challenges by introducing a proportional hazards model with imaging predictors characterized by bivariate splines over triangulation. The model sparsity is enforced with the group lasso penalty function. We apply the proposed method to the motivating Joanne Knight Breast Health Cohort to illustrate important risk patterns and show that the proposed method is able to achieve higher discriminatory performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-903
Number of pages9
JournalStatistical Methods in Medical Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Bivariate splines
  • Cox proportional hazards model
  • group lasso
  • imaging predictor
  • triangulation


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