COVID-19 vaccine can cause confusion about mammography results, doctors say

Doctors see more women coming in for mammography with the same problem and it is causing concern.

Patients have swollen lymph nodes, which is a rare sign of breast cancer.

“When we see it, we benefit and become anxious,” says Dr. Lars Grimm from Duke Health.

Doctors are now learning that this is caused by women who recently received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lymph nodes will be swollen on the side of the body that the person received the shot.

How do we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

“It’s good, right, because it means the vaccine works. Your body responds. You get that immune response,” says Grimm.

The side effect, however, is that these lumps show a mammogram and give a false reading for breast cancer.

Grimm says women just need to do a little planning.

Cancer patients “frustrated” when the revised state priorities kick them further down the COVID-19 waiting list

Either do the mammography screening done before the first COVID-19 vaccine dose or four to six weeks after the second shot.

Grimm says that the recommended timetable is the same regardless of whether you receive the Moderna or Pzifer vaccine.

The last thing doctors want is for women to interrupt mammography together, which often happened in 2020.

“We are worried that women will skip two years and we know that when we screen regularly we get breast cancer as early as possible. Unfortunately, breast cancer is just as common, it is really important that women stay on top of these health care issues and let it does not slip, says Grimm.

Tips for managing the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

The American Cancer Society proposes that women 45 to 54 receive screening each year. Women 55 years and older, in good health, can change to every two years.

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