PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes news that has doctors concerned.
The news is that COVID-19 booster shots can cause lymph node inflammation, and oncologists worry it could keep women from getting their yearly mammogram.
A swollen lymph node can be an indicator of breast cancer and can also create false concern if it is the result of the vaccine.
The impact on lymph nodes from COVID-19 vaccines created quite a stir a year ago.
But a year later, there is no question whether it’s the original dose or the booster shot that can cause lymph nodes under the arm to enlarge, and because it can show up in your mammogram, AHN’s Dr. Alisa Sumkin says you should wait around four to six weeks after your vaccine dose to have the test done.
However, experts say if you have any symptoms whatsoever, you should not delay getting the test done.
Dr. Sumkin says you should make sure you let everyone know you’ve had a vaccine shot and which arm you received the dose in. She says you shouldn’t assume the swollen lymph node is related to the vaccine.
“It can be from breast cancer. It can be from other diseases. It can be from autoimmune diseases. It can be from cancers, such as lymphoma or additional cancers as well, which is why we’re taking this very seriously,” Dr. Sumkin said.
Dr. Sumkin says that delaying the diagnosis also delays the potential treatment.
Doctors recommend yearly mammograms, because cancer can go from non-existent to spreading cancer very quickly, and early detection is key.
Dr. Sumkin says if you can get your mammogram test done before receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, that’s the best idea.