Why Mammograms Can Wait for Women After COVID-19 Vaccine

Breast cancer is still the second most common cancer found in women and has the second-highest possibility of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control, ESSENCE reported. Yet, even though scheduling a mammogram can be an important step in early detection for women, some are waiting until later to schedule their mammogram after doctors have discovered a COVID-19 vaccine side effect: lymph node swelling showing up in the mammograms of newly vaccinated women, according to the magazine.


Dr. Abisola Olulade​, a California-based board-certified ​family medicine physician​, told ESSENCE that “side effects are actually a good thing and a sign that your immune system is responding well to the vaccine.”


She added in the article, “They typically go away after a few days. However, breast cancer can cause swollen lymph nodes underneath the armpit as well. The mammogram may not be able to distinguish between lymph node swelling from the vaccine versus cancer. For that reason, some have suggested waiting four to six weeks after your final vaccine dose before getting a mammogram. However I would recommend that you discuss this with your medical provider to get some guidance before canceling or postponing your mammogram.”

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