DETROIT – Why are women being told to reschedule their mammograms if they recently got a COVID-19 vaccine?
Doctors said the concern is because a potential vaccine side effect could interfere with your results and cause unnecessary concern.
Dr. Laura Dean is a breast cancer specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. She said a small percentage of her patients have noticed enlarged lymph nodes after receiving their vaccine, especially on the side where the shot was given.
If the mammogram picks up those swollen lymph nodes it may result in the need for additional testing.
“If we do see lymph node enlargement on a screening mammogram, what the Society of Breast Imaging is recommending is that essentially we bring the patients back -- Do a targeted ultrasound just to get a good idea of what those lymph nodes look like and then we’re just monitoring them,” Dean said.
To avoid the added stress and follow up, the recommendation is to schedule your mammogram before you receive the first dose of the vaccine or 4 to 6 weeks after you get the second dose.
Experts want people to know that the vaccine is not an excuse to delay your mammogram indefinitely. Many women skipped their annual mammogram last year because of the pandemic.
Doctors want those patients to come in and get caught up.
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