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From the desk of Melinda Muller, M.D., interim Chief Medical Officer, Legacy Health

Home > For Health Professionals > Tools & Resources > eDocTalk Newsletter > March 2021 > New screening mammography recommendation regarding COVID-19 vaccines

New screening mammography recommendation regarding COVID-19 vaccines

Like many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause temporary axillary swelling which may be visible on mammograms. Swelling may prompt further imaging and follow-up. To ensure your patients have the most accurate mammogram, Legacy Cancer Institute and the Society of Breast Imaging strongly recommend: 

  • That screening mammography be performed before first vaccine to avoid unnecessary callbacks. If a patient wants to delay screening mammography until after the vaccine, we recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after the second dose.
  • That providers and care teams discuss vaccination effects with all patients due for breast imaging appointments. Recommended items to discuss are the date of the vaccine appointment, whether it’s for the first or second dose, and laterality of the vaccine.
  • Not to delay any diagnostic imaging.  

Legacy imaging scheduling staff are informing patients about the new recommendation at the time of their scheduling call so that the patient may make an informed decision about their care. Additionally, the Breast Cancer Screening page on legacyhealth.org has been updated to include a memo to patients regarding this new recommendation.

For more background on the new advice visit the Society of Breast Imaging and escalate any questions or concerns to Dr. Nathalie Johnson.