A trend is emerging in the US of COVID vaccines producing false-positive mammograms. It doesn’t mean you should delay doing either, though.
Doctors in the US are noticing a trend of false-positive mammograms in women who have recently received a COVID vaccine.
It’s quite a common side effect from injections to affect the lymph nodes under the arm where the shot was given, as they are a part of your body’s immune system.
Swelling in the lymph nodes is a sign that your body is responding to the vaccine and building up immunity to the virus.
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But during a mammogram, swollen lymph nodes can indicate breast cancer and prompts doctors to do a biopsy.
“Breast cancer can present with lymph nodes that are swollen under one arm,” said Dr. Kristin Robinson, a radiologist at the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic in Florida.
“When we see that on a mammogram, we always want to evaluate that further and make sure that this is related to the vaccine and not to a new breast cancer.”
It shouldn’t be a reason to delay having a mammogram if you’re due for one, however, just ensure your doctor is aware that you’ve had the shot recently.
Nor should it mean delaying getting the COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you.
“Women should get their COVID-19 vaccine, even if they’re scheduled to have their mammogram,” said Dr. Robinson.
“It’s important not to delay screening for breast cancer, and it’s equally important not to delay receiving care for a new breast concern, such as detecting a new lump.”