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Pink Up: COVID-19 vaccine may cause swollen lymph nodes

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 1:21 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As the push for more and more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine continues across the country, there’s something women may want to make note of.

One of the side effects of COVID-19 can cause swollen lymph nodes, which is also a sign of breast cancer.

“If you get a vaccine and your lymph nodes get large, we’d like to know that if you’re having a screen mammogram so we won’t be investigating those lymph nodes as if it’s a possibility of cancer,” said Dr. Steven Cunningham, a diagnostic radiology specialist with Forrest Health in Hattiesburg. “That way, the alarm is not raised as high in that particular case.”

Cunningham advises women to wait four to six weeks after receiving a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get their annual mammogram, but if you have a specific issue that needs to be diagnosed, do not wait.

“We’re trying to be diligent about getting that vaccine information out before we do the mammogram,” said Cunningham. “What arm did you have it in? How long ago was it? That way, we as radiologists will have that information to evaluate. We have the right perspective, so we can do the best job for our patients. Please don’t use this as an excuse to not get your vaccination.”

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