Raleigh, N.C. — Research shows the coronavirus vaccine is raising red flags on mammograms.
Between 8 and 16 percent of people who get the vaccine will develop swollen lymph nodes. While the swelling can be a sign that your body is mounting a response to the virus and building antibodies, it can also be a sign of cancer during a mammogram.
To avoid a false positive on a mammogram, the Society of Breast Imaging has recommended that women undergo the screening either before being vaccinated or wait four to six weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
But Dr. Laura Thomas, a radiologist with Raleigh Radiology, discouraged women from skipping the annual check altogether during the pandemic.
“That said, I would encourage women to get your mammogram if you have a symptom such as breast pain or a lump,” Thomas said. “A painful lump, that still needs to be checked out.”
She said she hasn’t seen the same side-effects in patients who have received a flu shot or the shingles vaccine.