Radiologists across the country have noticed a potential sequelae of the COVID-19 vaccine: mammograms show swollen lymph nodes in the armpits.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lymph nodes are found in various areas of the body, including the neck, groin, and armpits, and swell in the presence of bacteria, infection or sometimes cancer.
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, swollen lymph nodes in the axillary area usually require a biopsy of breast tissue, as this may be an indicator that breast cancer has begun to spread. However, radiologists say that these events are predictable after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and usually do not cause people’s attention.
Massachusetts General Hospital said in a recent press release that in most patients, evidence of lymphadenopathy after vaccination usually does not require further action unless the swelling persists or other health problems are at work.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out in its Moderna and Pfizer vaccine reports that lymph node swelling is “vaccine-related”
The Massachusetts General Hospital warned that as vaccination efforts increase nationwide, radiologists may see an increase in the number of enlarged lymph nodes in mammograms.
Constance Lehman, head of breast imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the New York Times that she was happy to learn that this situation was spreading to help people feel relieved.
She said: “I am particularly eager to send a message to all patients under surveillance after successful previous cancer treatments.”