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VERIFY: How the COVID-19 vaccine could impact your mammogram

Some patients have noticed swelling in their lymph nodes, including those near the armpit, after receiving a dose of any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine

ST. LOUIS — 5 On Your Side viewers Trena, Gail and Laurie all emailed the 5 On Your Side VERIFY team about whether the COVID-19 vaccine could impact a mammogram. 

QUESTION:
"Is it true you should cancel or reschedule a mammogram if you've recently received the COVID-19 vaccine?"

SOURCE:

Dr. Stephanie Schnepp, Medical Director of the Breast Center at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

ANSWER:

Dr. Schnepp said the medical community does not want people to delay their vaccine or their mammograms.

Some patients have noticed swelling in their lymph nodes, including those near the armpit, after receiving a dose of any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine. This happens with other common vaccines as well.  The concern is that swollen lymph nodes caused by the vaccine may cause concern on a mammogram because it can be a sign of something more serious in the breast.

Depending on your scheduled appointment, Dr. Schnepp has different recommendations:

  • If you get a vaccine appointment, see if your previously scheduled mammogram can be moved to before you are given the vaccine.
  • If you do not already have a mammogram scheduled and you cannot get it scheduled before getting vaccinated, wait to schedule the mammogram.
  • If you are overdue for your mammogram or it will be difficult to reschedule, keep both the vaccine and mammogram appointments. When you go for your mammogram screening, tell the staff when you received the vaccine and which arm you used.

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