BANGOR — Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit is a normal reaction to COVID-19.
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Women’s Breast Health Surgeon Susan O’Connor emphasizes the importance of mammograms when it comes to women’s health.
“When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, a lot of people get very minor side effects, one of them can be a little reaction of the lymph nodes that are up under the armpit,” she said.
This reaction is a normal temporary reaction to COVID-19 and should not be mistaken for breast cancer.
She said women should not be alarmed if they experience swelling in the armpit after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a study conducted by Penn Medicine radiologists, scans show that the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause breast cancer.
“One of the things that the vaccine does is set up an immune response that is teaching our body to fight off COVID-19,” O’Connor said.
According to O’Connor, breast cancer and lymphoma can involve enlarged lymph nodes that are detected in mammograms, but they are not always associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Certainly the vaccine doesn’t cause breast cancer. I’ve certainly heard that as a rumor out there in the community,” O’Connor said.
She added any lymph node swelling in the armpits could be from the vaccine but recommended consulting with one’s primary care doctor.