SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — During a Tuesday press conference, Intermountain Healthcare announced new guidelines for women receiving mammograms who have recently been immunized with the Covid-19 vaccine. Intermountain’s new recommendation is “that women undergo their mammogram screening before getting the vaccine or delay their screening by at least four weeks after their final COVID vaccine dose.”
These new recommendations are a response to guidelines released by the National Society of Breast Imaging after radiologists nationwide saw a rise in the number of mammograms indicating swollen lymph nodes in women who had received the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement yesterday was not for women to skip their screenings altogether, as that can be dangerous.
According to Dr. Brett Parkinson, the medical director of Intermountain Healthcare’s Breast Care Center, the swelling of lymph nodes also occurs with other vaccines or illnesses.
“We’ve seen this type of swelling on scans before, but never so pronounced because of one type of vaccine,” Parkinson said in a statement. “We have procedures in place to confirm if swollen lymph nodes are actually cancer, but we don’t want to have a patient go through the undue stress and anxiety of follow up visits if they don’t have to.”
That being said, if a lump or swelling is discovered by a woman in her breast, a screening mammogram should be scheduled without delay, he said.