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Mammograms are picking up swelling in women’s breasts following the Covid-19 vaccine, raising ‘unnecessary’ fears about cancer, radiologists say

  • Doctors are finding that the vaccine often causes swelling in lymph nodes  
  • These are being detected in ultrasound and mammogram breast cancer screens
  • Experts are now urging doctors to not immediately take a biopsy 
  • Lymph node swelling is not a commonly seen side-effect for other vaccines 

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. 

The lumps are in the body’s lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs — and are occuring on the same side of the chest as the arm in which the jab was administered.   

Mammograms have uncovered the breast lumps following vaccination in several women, raising ‘unnecessary’ fears about breast cancer. 

Based on the findings, doctors are urging women to avoid going for a mammogram for four weeks after they receive their Covid-19 vaccine. 

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. The lumps are in the body's lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs

Some women are developing swollen lumps in their breasts as a result of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to US doctors. The lumps are in the body’s lymph nodes — a network of vessels which filters out germs

Dr Jeanette Dickson, President of The Royal College of Radiologists, told MailOnline: ‘Localised swelling is becoming a well-recognised phenomenon in people receiving coronavirus vaccines and the UK medical profession and radiology teams are aware of it.

‘Virtually everyone mounts an immune response after getting the jab in their arm. 

‘This response is biggest in the lymph nodes in our armpits, which drain fluid away from the arm – the swelling of which is then seen on screening mammograms, which is something these scans are designed to pick up.

‘In cancer care we are also seeing some visible lymph node swelling in the armpits of recently vaccinated patients undergoing CT and PET-CT scans.

‘If patients are having any type of scan they need to make the imaging team aware if and when they had their COVID-19 jab and in which arm. 

‘These lumps can happen after the vaccine and are nothing to worry about. 

‘However, if a lump hasn’t gone a few days after getting the jab then we would urge patients to consult their GP in case the cause is more serious.’

Dr Devon Quasha works as a physician in Boston and found a lump in her left breast during a routine self-screen. 

She subsequently scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound to investigate.

One week before her imaging appointment she got her first Covid-19 vaccine, the Moderna jab. 

Shortly after her inoculation her left arm began to hurt and then several swollen lumps appeared around her left armpit and around the collar bone on her left side.

Dr Quasha was told by her radiologist that although the breast lump was likely harmless, the swollen nodes would, under normal conditions, be concerning. 

Such a discovery would normally warrant further investigation and an immediate biopsy where a small piece of tissue is removed and sent off for analysis. 

But due to the recent vaccination Dr Quasha and her doctor decided to hold off on this and instead booked a follow-up ultrasound in six weeks. 

Stay informed, remember information is key, to help you make the best choices for your health. Consider Breast Thermography to assess your breast health, it is a radiation-free, non compression assessment tool. For more information contact the clinic @ info@thermographyireland.ie or Ph:086 1623683

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