Home Breast Cancer Difference between vaccine side effects, breast cancer symptoms

Difference between vaccine side effects, breast cancer symptoms


A Jacksonville doctor breaks down how you can tell if it’s cause for concern or just a mild infection.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Discovering a small lump in your breast is a very big deal, but one side effect after getting the COVID vaccine can be breast swelling, even lumps. Symptoms that mimic breast cancer.

So how can you tell if it’s cause for concern or just a mild infection?

Women are told to check their breasts often looking out for lumps or any unusual changes.

“It’s actually a common side effect to see a lymph node get swollen after something like a vaccine,” said Assistant Chief Medical Officer at UF Health Jacksonville, Dr. Chirag Patel. 

Dr. Chirag Patel says lymph nodes are located all over your body including your armpits and lymph nodes work as filters for unknown substances.

“When something abnormal looking like a cell for example is in your body and this could be potentially infected one or a new spike protein that your vaccine gave you, it’s taken to your lymph nodes and that’s where your immune system will initially start kicking into action,” said Dr. Patel. 

Dr. Patel saying this start up could cause inflammation in your lymph nodes. 

“That happens with a lot of vaccines regardless of the type of vaccine it is or the mechanism and which it works. it’s introducing something foreign into your body to try to prompt that immune response and part of the immune response can include your lymph nodes being swollen,” said Dr. Patel. 

So how can you recognize the difference between having breast cancer or just an infection of the lymph nodes?

“Tender and movable typically means infection, if you got something more insidious like cancer those are typically not tender and they are matted down you can’t really move them,” said Dr. Patel. 

Dr. Patel says if you are concerned about a swollen lymph node before or after the vaccine go to your health provider and they should guide you in the right direction.


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