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Doctors recommend women plan mammograms around COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 6:14 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Radiologists at Radiology Consultants of Iowa with guidance from the Society of Breast Imaging, are now recommending women plan their mammograms around their COVID-19 vaccine.

If at all possible, women should schedule their mammogram before they get the vaccine so it is not a factor.

Doctors have noticed swollen lymph nodes during mammograms of women who have been vaccinated, which leads to follow-up exams to rule out possible cancer. This can cause undo anxiety for women who are really just experiencing a temporary side effect from the vaccine as well as lead to additional exams that may not be needed.

Dr. Arnold Honick, Director of Breast Care Services at RCI says they’ve seen instances of this at their office in Cedar Rapids.

We’ve probably had a dozen maybe,” Dr. Honick told TV-9.

“Once we go through the history and timing of the vaccination and look at the lymph nodes by ultrasound to start, they look more reactive,” he added.

If you have already received the vaccine, they recommend you schedule your mammogram at least 4-6 weeks after your last shot. If you already have a mammogram scheduled, Dr. Honick says there is no need to delay your appointment in that case. He recommends women let their technologist know when they got the vaccine and which arm was used so they are aware.

This does not apply for women experiencing something worrisome like a suspicious lump. In that case you should go ahead and be seen right away regardless of when you’ve received a vaccine.

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