This was being discussed on the evening news tonight.
The Society for Breast Imaging (SBI) is recommending that women schedule their annual mammogram before they get the COVID-19 vaccine or delay screening until four to six weeks after receiving the vaccine.
The recommendation comes after increasing reports of a side effect following receiving the COVID-19 vaccine: swollen, abnormal-appearing lymph nodes in the armpit on the same side as where COVID-19 vaccines were administered.
Swollen lymph nodes under the arm, also known as axillary adenopathy, are not an uncommon side effect of receiving a vaccine. They’re temporary and are actually a good sign as far as immunity goes.
“In stimulating the immune system, vaccines will sometimes cause the lymph nodes because they are a critical part of that system,” says Deanna Attai, MD, a breast surgeon at UCLA Health.
But they can complicate the reading of a mammogram, say experts. Or worse, raise suspicion of a cancer that isn’t there.