A method for automated detection of abnormal anatomic regions, wherein a mammogram is digitized to produce a digital image and the digital image is processed using local edge gradient analysis and linear pattern analysis in addition to feature extraction routines to identify abnormal anatomic regions. Noise reduction filtering and pit-filling/spike-removal filtering techniques are also provided. Multiple difference imaging techniques are also used in which difference images employing different filter characteristics are obtained and processing results logically OR'ed to identify abnormal anatomic regions. In another embodiment the processing results with and without noise reduction filtering are logically AND'ed to improve detection sensitivity. Also, in another embodiment the wavelet transform is utilized in the identification and detection of abnormal regions. The wavelet transform is preferably used in conjunction with the difference imaging technique with the results of the two techniques being logically OR'ed.