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NEWSLETTER

Will the COVID-19 vaccination impact the results of my mammogram?

The topic of whether having the COVID-19 vaccination might impact my mammography findings was raised in an article authored by Kelly Bilodeau, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch.

He explained that as your immune system prepares to detect and fight the virus, at least two of the authorized COVID-19 vaccinations may cause lymph nodes in the armpit (or other parts of the body) to swell. Although it's a safe transient response, it might cause some confusion on a mammogram. Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit or other surrounding areas are an indication of cancer in rare situations. Experts are now urging radiologists to use caution when interpreting the importance of enlarged lymph nodes observed on a woman's mammography if she has recently received the COVID-19 vaccination, to prevent unneeded testing and worry. If your breast imaging centre hasn't inquired about it, please do so. If your mammography reveals enlarged lymph nodes, your radiologist may recommend that you have further ultrasound testing or return in a few weeks to check if the swelling has subsided. If the swelling does not go away, further testing may be required. To minimize problems, schedule your mammogram before your first dosage or four to six weeks after your second dose. But don't forget to take the test and get your COVID-19 vaccine.

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