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How the COVID-19 vaccine could influence your mammogram

‘It breaks my heart’: Fewer women getting mammograms due to COVID-19 fears
Posted at 6:09 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 08:26:08-05

EDGEWOOD, Ky. — After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, some people might see worrying results from their mammograms, but doctors said this isn't necessarily cause for alarm.

Doctors said some patients who have gotten their vaccine and go in for their mammogram are seeing enlarged lymph nodes in their results. Usually, this can be a sign of breast cancer or lymphoma, but doctors said the enlarged nodes mean the vaccine is working.

Dr. Gary Schmitt, a radiologist with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, said typically the nodes are enlarged on the side of the body that received the vaccine shot. This is because your lymph nodes are where your body makes antibodies to fight viruses.

Because of this, doctors are recommending getting your mammogram before you get the vaccine, or waiting four to six weeks after your second dose before getting your mammogram. However, if you notice a change in your body, Schmitt said to don't hesitate to get your mammogram.

"If you as a patient feel a lump or have a problem and you just had the COVID vaccine, you should still come in," Schmitt said. "But if you're just totally fine, checking it off your to do list, 'I do this every month or every year,' rather, those are the people who should wait."

Doctors said if you have any concerns though, you should talk with your doctor.