Tyndall transitions to 3D mammography

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anabel Del Valle
  • 325 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Medical Group is upgrading mammography equipment to ensure beneficiaries get the best care possible, setting the standard for clinics and hospitals across the Air Force.

3D mammography is replacing 2D mammography to increase chances of cancer detection.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, as of 2018, 4,000 of 8,726 facilities in the U.S. offered 3D mammography services. The push to allow 3D mammography in smaller clinics was a fight worth having to the 325th MDG.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my group commander, my squadron commander, and Surgeon General Administrator,” said Tech. Sgt. Ashlyn Marra, 325th MDG non-commissioned officer in charge of diagnostic imaging. “They helped get the issue to Air Force level approval, meaning all clinics and hospitals are able to upgrade to 3D instead of only large medical centers.”

The work of the 325th MDG opened the door for all bases to upgrade their equipment, which is sure to benefit future patients across the country. Early cancer detection can often require less frequent and toxic chemotherapy treatment, less invasive procedures, and fewer surgeries.

“A 3D mammogram gives the radiologist a clearer picture of the breast tissue and its composition,” said Marra. “It brings finer detail into focus and makes tiny structures apparent. When the tissue is more clearly visible, radiologists can often detect abnormalities they might have missed with a 2D mammogram.”

Marra explained that the base an Airman is stationed at shouldn’t hinder the type of care they receive.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate or only affect patients at large medical centers,” said Marra. “I am glad our beneficiaries will now get the best practice in regards to cancer screenings!”