Doctors: Don’t schedule your mammogram and COVID-19 vaccine close together

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FILE – In this Thursday, March 11, 2021, file photo, a health worker loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being made available to residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Doctors say patients should either schedule their mammogram well before getting vaccinated or wait a period of six weeks to reduce false readings.

According to doctors with Imaging Specialists, patients looking to get a mammogram should have their procedure completed before getting the COVID-19 vaccine because of the potential for having a false reading due to swelling around the area where the inoculation occurs.

“Our experts recommend getting your mammogram before being vaccinated or waiting six weeks after getting your vaccine,” said Dr. Brian Burke with Imaging Specialists. “However, if you feel a new lump, you should get it checked out right away.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports people who received a COVID-19 vaccine have experienced swelling in the lymph nodes. The swelling is generally specific to the underarm where they got the shot.

This swelling is an indicator that your body is building protection against the coronavirus. However, breast cancer can also cause swelling in the armpit when cancer spreads to the lymph nodes.

Doctors say they are concerned that undergoing a mammogram after receiving the vaccination could cause unnecessary worry or inaccurate readings. 

For more information about Imaging Specialists, visit their website at

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