A routine mammogram can save your life. A vaccination for the coronavirus can save your life. While these two actions certainly have beneficial attributes on their individual merit, how they react together can create a bit of a concern for you. Unless, of course, you inform your healthcare provider ahead of time.

Here is the issue. COVID vaccines can enlarge lymph nodes in the body. Those lymph nodes can remain enlarged for several weeks under the arm in which you received your COVID vaccination. That is why many healthcare professionals are encouraging you to communicate with your doctor about your vaccination if you are scheduled to undergo a routine mammogram.

Dr. Mindy Bowie is a Breast Surgical Oncologist with Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge. Dr. Bowie recently spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network and offered this insight about the connection between the COVID vaccines and scheduling your mammogram.

According to the American Society of Breast Imaging, they do recommend postponing any routine imaging studies for approximately four to six weeks after your vaccination.

Dr. Bowie suggests that you let your technician know when you were vaccinated as you are scheduling your mammogram. This way you won't likely have to go through a re-examination process should your mammogram show an enlarged lymph node. Dr. Bowie says the enlarged lymph nodes are a normal function of the body as it is mounting an immune response. So, don't be alarmed if notice them after you've been vaccinated.

And about the enlarged lymph nodes caused by the vaccines?

Usually, these lymph nodes decrease in size, or go back to normal, within several weeks after the vaccination. Just note that it is something that’s very common after this vaccination

Again, the words of Dr. Mindy Bowie.

The bottom line is simply this. Don't delay either one of these important healthcare choices. Just make sure that you are providing proper spacing between them so as not to have to repeat a test and spend countless anxious hours worrying and wondering about the results.

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