Women who are due for a screening mammogram are encouraged to do so prior to receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Alternatively, it is recommended that patients wait at least four weeks after receiving their second vaccine dose before having a screening mammogram. The recommendations are new guidelines from the American Cancer Society and the Society of Breast Imaging.
“Axillary lymph nodes are visible on routine mammograms,” according to Robert Hasson, MD, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist with Decatur County Memorial Hospital. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are finding lymph node enlargements that resemble malignancy as a result of normal immune response from the COVID-19 vaccination.
The CDC, among a number of other advisors, recommends that getting the COVID-19 vaccination is instrumental to your overall health. “Unless you notice worrisome symptoms, such as a suspicious lump, rescheduling a screening mammogram a month or so after its originally scheduled date will not result in a negative outcome,” said Dr. Hasson. “You will want to consult your personal physician if you notice anything out of the ordinary during a self-exam.”