The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) has updated its mammography recommendations for women who have received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Women scheduling mammography for breast cancer screening purposes (no current complaints or symptoms of breast cancer such as palpable lump, change in size/shape/appearance, breast pain, nipple discharge or retraction, any changes, etc.) should obtain mammogram either before COVID-19 vaccine or four or more weeks after receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
It is important to emphasize that this recommendation applies to routine screening with no current complaints only. Patients experiencing symptoms should contact their physicians for appropriate action such as diagnostic mammmography regardless of vaccine timing.
Additionally, there is no connection between COVID-19 vaccine and breast cancer. Swollen lymph nodes in the axilla is a routine response to vaccine -- indicating the body's natural response and build-up of immunity as intended. Specifically, patients were more likely to experience swollen lymph nodes for a median of one to two days following Moderna vaccine and a median of 10 days following Pfizer vaccine.
The SBI recommendation is after radiologists nationwide noticed a spike in mammograms showing swollen lymph nodes in the axilla among women who recently received the COVID-19 vaccination. These enlarged lymph nodes may prohibit an accurate reading on screening mammogram.
If you have any questions about this, please speak with your physician or contact our office at 314-984-8827.