FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – COVID-19 vaccines are leading to cancer scares among some women.
It’s all because of a common side effect, swollen lymph nodes, which can show up in breast cancer screenings.READ MORE: Jake Ellzey Defeats Susan Wright In Runoff Special Election For Texas' 6th Congressional District Seat
Yolanda Railey was surprised when her doctors raised concern over a recent PET scan.
While she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in December, her previous MRI hadn’t shown any issue with her lymph nodes.
This time, however, there was swelling.
She was initially worried the cancer had spread.
“I had not really researched the COVID-19 shot to see if my lymph nodes would swell up or anything like that,” she told CBS 11 News.READ MORE: 2 People Killed In Chemical Incident At Plant Near Houston
That’s exactly what happened. Railey got her first dose just a few days before the imaging appointment.
“To someone who doesn’t have the right clinical information, it could look like they have cancer,” explained Dr. Deepna Jaiswal, Railey’s oncologist.
She told CBS 11 News she’s seen a handful of cases like this in recent weeks.
“It can happen with any sort of vaccination, but I think we’re noticing it a lot more with the COVID vaccine,” Dr. Jaiswal said. “It’s a normal, expected response from a vaccine because it’s just an example of your immune system learning to mount a response.”
The Society of Breast Imaging now recommends scheduling your mammograms before being vaccinated or waiting until at least four weeks after your second dose, but Dr. Jaiswal cautioned it is not a one-size-fits all approach.MORE NEWS: Teen Dies In High-Speed Crash In Carrollton
“You have to take in context each patient’s individual risks and benefits and that’s something each person should talk to their doctor about,” said Dr. Jaiswal.