Intermountain changes mammogram guidelines for women who get COVID-19 vaccine

Intermountain Healthcare has updated its mammography guidelines for women who plan to or have already received a COVID-19 vaccine, the health system said Feb. 9.

The Salt Lake City-based health system now recommends women receive their mammogram screening before getting vaccinated, or delay the procedure until four weeks after their final dose. 

The change aligns with new recommendations from the Society of Breast Imaging. The society updated its mammography recommendations after radiologists nationwide noticed a spike in mammograms showing swollen lymph nodes among women who were recently vaccinated.

The policy change aims to avoid false positive results, according to Brett Parkinson, MD, medical director of Intermountain's Breast Care Center.

"We've seen this type of swelling on scans before, but never so pronounced because of one type of vaccine," Dr. Parkinson said in a news release emailed to Becker's. "We have procedures in place to confirm if swollen lymph nodes are actually cancer, but we don't want to have a patient go through the undue stress and anxiety of follow-up visits if they don't have to."


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