After the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, many people develop side effects like swelling, muscle pain, fever and fatigue—which are common, according to experts. But some vaccinated people are concerned about an odd new side effect.
The Society of Breast Imaging in the US is warning that women who received their COVID-19 vaccines recently could develop swelling and a lump in the lymph nodes of their armpit area, which many women have confused with the early stage breast cancer symptom.
The SBI, which is a leading breast imaging organization in the US, is now recommending that women should wait to schedule a mammogram until four weeks after the inoculation over the concern of the new side effect.
In a three-page document, the SBI has warned about the risk of COVID-19 vaccine causing axillary adenopathy—the changes in the size and consistency of lymph nodes in the armpit—that can be misunderstood as a sign of breast cancer.
According to the SBI, while axillary adenopathy is not a usual condition and rarely reported after flu and HPV vaccines, some women who recently got their COVID-19 vaccines have experienced this.
Vaccines and New Symptom
The SBI noted that according to data 11.6 percent of patients who received the Moderna vaccines against the Coronavirus caused disease has developed swelling or tenderness after receiving their second shot and that lymphadenopathy—also known as adenopathy is a disease of the lymph nodes—happened in more than 1 percent of people in clinical trials.
But as reported, such symptoms are very rare in those individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, but they did emerge.
As per the SBI guidance, the "true incidence rate" of such odd symptoms is 'likely higher' with both COVID-19 vaccines. This means that most probably more women have experienced the side effect and did not notice or did not report it.
"If possible, and when it does not unduly delay care, consider scheduling screening exams before the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination," said the SBI.
Even other healthcare professionals also said that the enlargement of lymph nodes is a normal response to the body building up immunity to the COVID-19. An expert from Saint Luke's Health System, Dr. Mary Mitchell, has recommended that patients schedule their routine mammograms ahead of the vaccination or wait for four to six weeks after the second dose.
"Now that being said if you are having any problems or any sort of breast issues or concerns, we want you to come in sooner, we don't want you to wait," said Dr. Mitchell.
As reported by KMBC-TV, these recommendations are for both men and women, even though it is more common for women to identify irregularities and note their concerns.