ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Michelle Garcia is an intensive care unit nurse in Englewood. She and her coworkers have had both doses of the COVID vaccine, and some noticed an interesting side effect.
“I think I had probably five or six friends who ended up with the lymph node enlargement under their arms from the vaccine,” Garcia said.
While that itself is not problematic, enlarged lymph nodes can be spotted on a mammogram and impact recommendations for the patient.
“When we do see it on imaging, we are obligated to kind of work that up and understand, is this just a result of the vaccine or not?” said Dr. Louie Enriquez, the breast imaging radiologist at the Medical Center of Aurora.
That work-up could include diagnostic imaging or more. Enriquez’s office is following guidelines from the Society of Breast Imaging.
“What we are recommending is that referring physicians and patients do what they can to try to get their breast imaging, if they have a screening mammogram that they may be due for, or a screening breast MRI, that they try to do that before their first dose of the COVID vaccine,” Enriquez said.
If not, he recommends waiting six to eight weeks after the second dose.
Some women cannot reschedule, and it is important to stay up to date with regular screenings, so contact your provider if you have a conflict.