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How COVID-19 can affect your mammogram

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the COVID-19 vaccine could cause swollen lymph nodes and potentially affect mammography results.

“We know that some patients, a small subgroup, when they receive their vaccine, will actually have enlarged lymph nodes associated with the normal immune response to the vaccine, which can occur under their arms or even sometimes in their neck,”

; explained Dr. Diane Johnson, director of breast imaging at Memorial Hospital. “When this happens, it is possible for these lymph nodes to show up on their screening mammograms.”

Johnson recommends scheduling a mammogram before taking the vaccine, or if possible, wait four to six weeks after making the shot. She also suggests telling the medical staff if you received a shot in your left or right hand.

“Let them know you got the vaccine, let them know when you got it and in which hand it was,” Johnson explained. “What will happen is that they will record this information, which will be passed on to the radiologist, who can use this information when interpreting your mammogram.”


Johnson explained how to tell if the swollen lymph node was from the vaccine or a sign of breast cancer.

“If you develop a painful, swollen lymph node under your arm within a few days of receiving the vaccine, it’s probably related to the vaccine,” Johnson said. “If, on the other hand, you notice lymph nodes that have appeared in the absence of a vaccine, perhaps an increase in overtime, may or may not be painful, this is certainly a symptom that you will want to talk to your doctor. “

During a visit to The Morning Show, Johnson stressed the importance of visiting your doctor if you notice symptoms such as a lump, skin changes, or nipple discharge.

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