As an increasing number of individuals get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, extra potential unintended effects have emerged. One is swollen lymph nodes and whereas that is what you’d anticipate when an immune response is triggered, it is precisely what you do not wish to see when screening for breast most cancers.
Dr. Jessica Burgers, a breast surgeon specializing in hematology oncology at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is aware of precisely what to search for when screening for most cancers.
“One of the things that’s a tipoff for cancer in the lymph nodes is if the lymph nodes are looking swollen or enlarged,” Burgers explained to CBS Miami.
But rather a lot of individuals could also be experiencing swollen or enlarged lymph nodes lately as a result of they seem to be a widespread facet impact of the COVID vaccine.
Dr. Burgers seen it firsthand after she was vaccinated.
“It wasn’t until the second shot that I did actually experience a side effect that we are becoming more aware of where I had some swelling or soreness in my armpit area, or what we in the medical field call the axilla,” she recalled.
She says it is a regular response to a vaccine as a result of the lymphatic system homes immune cells and the purpose of the vaccine is to provoke an immune response. Swollen lymph nodes, notably within the armpit space, may also be an indication of breast most cancers.
“But radiographically, these can appear very similar. So it can be alarming for a radiologist who isn’t aware of the context that a patient had a recent vaccine,” she stated.
It’s a problem arising an increasing number of in her personal apply and could result in a rise in false positives.
“I’d say about once a week we’re getting reports and so it’s prompting me that when I’m calling my patients with their imaging results, one of the first questions I ask is ‘Did you get the vaccination?’”
Dr. Burgers says should you had been not too long ago vaccinated and are in any other case wholesome and never experiencing any breast considerations, you need to attempt to delay your mammogram a bit.
The Society of Breast Imaging recommends scheduling your mammogram both earlier than your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or about 4 to 6 weeks following your second dose, if potential.
“That being said, if a patient is being worked up for a current breast complaint, this should not deter a woman from getting her mammogram. She just needs to make sure she lets the doctor and technologists at the imaging facility be aware that she had the vaccine and what arm was used for that vaccination.”
Dr. Burgers says if the swelling is vaccine-related, it ought to resolve itself inside two months. If it would not, you need to undoubtedly comply with up along with your healthcare supplier.