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Vaccine reactions causing unnecessary fear in mammograms

Doctors are suggesting women schedule their mammogram before or at least six weeks after getting vaccinated.
Heads up for women who are due for their annual mammogram and plan on getting the coronavirus...
Heads up for women who are due for their annual mammogram and plan on getting the coronavirus vaccine: the timing of one of those may affect when you should get the other.(Arc Images)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:49 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Women who are due for their annual mammogram and plan on getting the coronavirus vaccine are urged to take note: the timing of one of those may affect when you should get the other.

Doctors say it is normal for the lymph nodes in the armpit area to swell following COVID-19 vaccination. The swelling can sometimes be mistaken as a sign of cancer when seen on a mammogram, triggering biopsies.

The unnecessary biopsies prompted the patient care committee of the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) to put out an advisory in January urging doctors to ask patients about their COVID-19 status and record the date and which arm received the vaccine.

Additionally, radiology centers are focused on scheduling women who have missed or are overdue on their mammogram due to the pandemic. Doctors are suggesting women schedule their mammogram before or at least six weeks after getting vaccinated.

A study published by the Radiological Society of North America that tracked over half a million women found those who skip just one scheduled mammography screening before they are diagnosed with breast cancer have a significantly higher risk of dying.

The risk of having fatal breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis was 50% lower for women who had regular breast screenings, the study said.

The reaction to the vaccine causing swelling of lymph nodes is not limited to breast cancer scares. Lymph nodes are in other parts of the body and are also reacting to the vaccines, causing people with other forms of cancer to undergo unnecessary procedures.

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