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What Should I Know About Scheduling My Mammogram After a COVID-19 Vaccination?

It's important to consider the timing of 'when' to have your mammogram following a COVID shot

mammogram and Covid vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccine is making its way onto many of our preventive health care checklists. For some, the shots fall around the same time their screening mammograms are due, creating many questions about when both should be scheduled.

To answer your questions, the team at  Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute and LVHN Breast Health Services has advice:

Current recommendations

Some individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine series (or a booster or third shot) and had a mammogram soon after experienced false-positive findings. This is caused by temporarily swollen lymph nodes, which is a normal side effect from the vaccine.

To help prevent a false-positive mammogram reading, it’s recommended that you schedule your screening mammogram before or four to six weeks after your initial COVID-19 vaccine series, booster shot or third shot.

General mammography guidelines

Individuals born biologically female who are 40 and older should get a mammogram once a year.

However, if you are at high risk for developing breast cancer, you may be advised to start getting screened sooner. Depending on your family history, your physician may recommend genetic testing to evaluate your risk further.

Be sure to discuss your screening eligibility with your physician at your next appointment, especially if you are 40 or older.

​​​​​​​Cancer screenings during the pandemic

Screening for cancer is an important way to help prevent development of certain types of cancer and identify cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage. During the pandemic, many individuals delayed their cancer screenings due to concerns for safety and exposure to COVID-19.

While these feelings are understandable, it’s important to know that hospitals and cancer institutes (especially Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute) are taking extra precautions to keep you safe when you come in for your mammograms and other screening tests.

In addition, delaying regular screening can cause a delay in detecting cancer in its earlier stages, which can make a difference in treatment options and possible outcomes.

If you are due for a mammogram or other screening test, don’t delay. If you have additional concerns about your mammogram and COVID-19 vaccine appointments, be sure to reach out to your doctor’s office for additional support.

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Breast Health Services program gives women easy access to the most advanced breast cancer screening technologies.

Schedule a Mammogram Today


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