COVID-19 vaccines and mammograms
Among the highest health priorities right now is getting the COVID-19 vaccine. At the same time, we want to make sure that Welia Health patients are getting needed screenings, including mammograms. Both are important. When we find breast cancer in the early stages, it’s more likely to be treatable, if not curable.
When you’re scheduling your mammogram, we’ll ask you if you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine in the last 4 weeks. If the answer is no, we’ll schedule it accordingly. If the answer is yes, we’ll explain that the vaccine could affect your mammogram results. You’ll have the option of scheduling it now or waiting until 4 weeks after your last vaccine.
How does the vaccine affect the mammogram results?
In some cases (and it’s the minority of cases), patients who have had the COVID-19 vaccine are experiencing swelling of the lymph nodes under the vaccine-side arm. Our mammography technologists will ask you if you’ve recently been vaccinated and if so, in which arm. Then, they’ll note that in the report so the radiologist has the information when reviewing the images.
If the lymph nodes are swollen, we will want to make sure it is indeed being caused by the vaccine and not breast cancer. What might happen is you’ll get your mammogram, and we’ll call you back for more imaging. We want to make sure we do a comprehensive screening. So take a deep breath and don’t worry until we learn more.
For more information, review the pamphlet from the Society of Breast Imaging or call your Welia Health provider. Our team is here to answer any questions you have. We’re your partner in health.
Still have questions? We encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider. Ready to roll up your sleeve?
Vaccines are free and available—no appointment required—at Welia Health clinics and communities pharmacies. Visit WeliaHealth.org/Getting-Vaccinated for details.