Updated: Mar 3, 2021
If you have recently been vaccinated with one of the FDA-approved vaccines for COVID-19, you should be aware of an unintended consequence that has been reported in the CDC data tracking system. The Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) is warning that a small number of women who were recently vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, could develop swelling in the lymph nodes of their armpit, which can be mistaken as a sign of breast cancer. The swelling under the armpit has been associated with the same side where the vaccine was administered.
According to the SBI, the swelling is not a sign of cancer. However, SBI is recommending that women consider scheduling mammogram screening exams prior to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or 4 to 6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Please check out the Society of Breast Imaging’s article (Management of Axillary Adenopathy in Patients with Recent COVID-19 Vaccination) to learn more about this unusual COVID-19 vaccination side effect.
Society of Breast Imaging (SBI). (February 2021). Management of Axillary Adenopathy in Patients with Recent COVID-19 Vaccination. Retrieved from: https://www.sbi-online.org/Portals/0/Position%20Statements/2021/SBI-recommendations-for-managing-axillary-adenopathy-post-COVID-vaccination.pdf
Disclosure: (I am a writer and editor for the National Institutes of Health. Information contained in this blog post are not associated with my role at NIH).