Image: National Cancer Institute

Mammograms & COVID-19

April 26, 2021

I made an appointment for my annual mammogram and was told to wait four weeks before having a mammogram. The nurse told me that getting the COVID-19 vaccine can cause temporary lymph node enlargement and result in a “false positive” mammogram. Therefore I made my appointment for 6 weeks post vaccine, just to be extra safe.

The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccinations, can cause a temporary enlargement of lymph nodes. This can cause your mammogram to appear abnormal even when you are OK and there is no indication of cancer. But, enlarged lymph nodes can result in a “false positive” on your mammogram. You may get a request to return for further testing — a call-back — which can be unsettling.*

I often wonder after 3 years now of drugs and chemotherapy (intravenously), if that would perhaps take care of breast cancer at the same time. Or, make me immune to future breast cancer. I can’t seem to find anything on this delimma. Hmmm…

For more information about mammograms go to Society of Breast Imaging (Facts & Figures).

*  John Hopkins Medicine