COVID Vaccine Reaction Can Mimic Breast Cancer Symptoms
THURSDAY, February 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) – One of the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination is creating excessive fear in women, which makes them fear they have breast cancer.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can cause lymph nodes to swell, especially those in the armpit on the side where the vaccine was received, experts say.
Some women experience these lymph nodes in the armpits and mistake them for breast lumps, according to a recent report.
Also, these swollen lymph nodes can show up during a mammogram even though women cannot feel them. This prompted the Society of Breast Imaging to recommend that women postpone any scheduled mammograms within four weeks of their last injection of COVID-19.
Post-vaccine lymph node swelling is common and harmless, but doctors fear it causes excessive fear in women. It could also trigger a false positive on a mammogram, increasing the need for unnecessary additional testing, said Dr. Brett Parkinson, medical director of Intermountain Medical Center breast care in Murray, Utah.
“It’s very unusual in the normal screening population to see enlarged lymph nodes. We only see it 0.2% to 0.4% of the time,” Parkinson said.
“So when we see it, it raises a red flag, because when this type of lymph node swelling is present, about 50% of the time, it can represent metastatic breast cancer that has passed from the breast to the lymph node. the arm, or leukemia or lymphoma, ”he added.
When the doctors see this, they want the patient to come back. “We do additional tests, usually ultrasounds, and often we will do a biopsy to rule out one of these malignant tumors,” Parkinson said.
He noted that about 16% of patients in clinical trials had enlarged lymph nodes after their second injection of Moderna vaccine and that the Pfizer vaccine produced a similar effect.
“I actually had a palpable axilla [armpit] lymph node after my vaccination, “Parkinson said.” It also happens in men.
A series of case reports recently published online in the journal Clinical imaging detailed four women who received the COVID-19 vaccine and subsequently requested breast cancer screening.
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