Enlarged lymph nodes in the underarm after the COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Destounis talks about enlarged lymph nodes with the COVID-19 vaccine:

Enlarged lymph nodes in the underarm after the COVID-19 vaccine
Stamatia Destounis, MD

A side effect of COVID-19 vaccination can be swollen lymph nodes in the underarm on the side where the COVID-19 vaccination was given. This is seen now about 15-20% of the time after the first and or second vaccination dose. These lymph nodes may be large enough to be found on a breast exam by you or your doctor or seen on your screening mammogram. There is no reason to worry as our breast imaging physicians are very familiar with lymph node enlargement with other vaccinations including for the flu, or shingles, and with infections that involve the breast, chest, or arm.

During the COVID pandemic many women may have delayed their screening mammograms for safety reasons, however, we don’t want you to skip your yearly mammogram. We also don’t want you to postpone your COVID vaccination if you have it scheduled as both are important for your health. Our staff and physicians will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your appointment.

If you haven’t had your vaccination yet our call center staff will do their best to schedule your screening mammogram before your vaccination appointment. This will eliminate any questions regarding swollen lymph nodes that may be visible on your mammogram. If you cannot change your mammogram appointment, because of work or other events and recently had your COVID vaccine don’t worry, come in for your mammogram, it is most important to get screened. The radiologists will interpret your images and review whether there are any enlarged lymph nodes seen in the underarm on the side of your vaccination injection and discuss this with you. Don’t cancel an important cancer screening appointment.

If you have a lump or your doctor has a concern about your breasts, you should schedule an appointment with one of our physicians as soon as possible. Any new problem in the breast needs to be evaluated by our doctors to make sure it is nothing serious.

Dr. Destounis discusses with Beth Adams, the Morning Edition Host/Reporter from WXXI, concerning your mammogram and the vaccine and not putting off either of them.

Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) Screening Mammography Recommendations for Women Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

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