Local doctor explains importance of mammograms after COVID-19 vaccine

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Reports of swollen lymph nodes after a COVID-19 vaccination has raised some concerns about whether screening mammograms should be rescheduled due to this finding could be mistaken for breast cancer misdiagnosis. Dr. Timothy Quinn, of Quinn Healthcare in Ridgeland, explained what to know about mammograms during COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to stay on the offense and what I mean by that, we have to get these vaccines to fight this COVID-19 pandemic. But, we also still want to maintain getting our screening mammograms for the ladies of the correct age so we can make sure we diagnose breast cancer timely to provide treatment and save lives,” said Dr. Quinn.

He said the Society for Breast Imaging suggested if you schedule a mammogram appointment, make sure to get it before your COVID-19 vaccination. If you have received a vaccination, wait four to six weeks after your second shot to receive a mammogram.

“We know that the vaccine has certain side effects, and one of those side effects for some people is swelling in the lymph nodes underneath the arms. The problem is, if you get a mammogram and you just got your vaccine, the lymph nodes can be confused. And when the mammogram is interpreted, it can be confused that it is some type of cancer or some type of mass, which could result in anxiety.”

Dr. Quinn said the advice to delay a mammogram appointment only applies to those who are getting a routine check up. For others who have medical problems or are in need of treatment, it is recommended to follow-up with your doctor’s orders.

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