Breast cancer is the leading cancer among American women. The current lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 13.4% (one in seven). Mammography is the most effective technology presently available for breast cancer screening. With digital mammograms computer-aided detection (CAD) has proven to be a useful tool for radiologists. In this paper, we focus on mass detection that is a common category of breast cancers relative to calcification and architecture distortion. We propose a new mass detection algorithm utilizing Gabor filters, termed as "Gabor Mass Detection" (GMD). There are three steps in the GMD algorithm, (1) preprocessing, (2) generating alarms and (3) classification (reducing false alarms). Down-sampling, quantization, denoising and enhancement are done in the preprocessing step. Then a total of 30 Gabor filtered images (along 6 bands by 5 orientations) are produced. Alarm segments are generated by thresholding four Gabor images of full orientations (Stage-I classification) with image-dependent thresholds computed via histogram analysis. Next a set of edge histogram descriptors (EHD) are extracted from 24 Gabor images (6 by 4) that will be used for Stage-II classification. After clustering EHD features with fuzzy C-means clustering method, a k-nearest neighbor classifier is used to reduce the number of false alarms. We initially analyzed 431 digitized mammograms (159 normal images vs. 272 cancerous images, from the DDSM project, University of South Florida) with the proposed GMD algorithm. And a ten-fold cross validation was used for testing the GMD algorithm upon the available data. The GMD performance is as follows: sensitivity (true positive rate) = 0.88 at false positives per image (FPI) = 1.25, and the area under the ROC curve = 0.83. The overall performance of the GMD algorithm is satisfactory and the accuracy of locating masses (highlighting the boundaries of suspicious areas) is relatively high. Furthermore, the GMD algorithm can successfully detect early-stage (with small values of Assessment & low Subtlety) malignant masses. In addition, Gabor filtered images are used in both stages of classifications, which greatly simplifies the GMD algorithm.