COVID-19 Vaccine Presents Deceiving Side Effect in Women

In Featured Articles, News, Women's Imaging by Addison Clark

Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare services are more important than ever. Though the pandemic has instilled some fear in patients and is causing them to avoid medical services, we want our patients to know it is crucial that women do not skip or delay their screening mammogram appointments.

Now, with COVID-19 vaccination rolling out across the nation, women are reporting a side effect of the vaccine that can mimic a sign of breast cancer – swollen lymph nodes, specifically in the under-arm area. Though some patients may be concerned with the symptom, this vaccine response is normal and can persist up to four weeks after receiving the shot.

Dr. Roni Talukdar, Director of Women’s Imaging at RAF, reassures patients that the vaccine is safe and swollen lymph nodes are not of concern, but cautions that if swelling remains after a few weeks, or if other symptoms such as a lump, pain, or discharge occur, it is important to follow up with your doctor and schedule a screening exam.

RAF’s Women’s Imagers are fellowship-trained and have the expertise needed to detect abnormalities a mammogram may present. To be sure that swollen glands caused by a vaccine immune response are not obstructing the imaging study, we recommend scheduling your mammogram before you receive the first dose of the vaccine, or four to six weeks after the second dose is administered. Remember, screening mammograms save lives! You can schedule your appointment today by calling (540) 741-X-RAY.