As more areas in the U.S. roll out COVID-19 vaccines, a number of those who received the jab reported having one side effect that is often associated with breast cancer, causing doctors to warn against a possible confusion.

One of the coronavirus vaccine side effects that doctors have seen is having swollen lymph nodes. This was revealed to Fox8 by Dr. Holly Marshall, a breast radiologist who is with University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Marshall said that some of her patients who got their COVID-19 vaccines reported experiencing swollen lymph nodes, known in the medical field as axillary adenopathy. She said that they have been seeing the side effect for a number of weeks already.

She explained that breast radiologists often encounter swollen lymph nodes on the screening mammograms of patients who have received the vaccine. This side effect might be mistaken for breast cancer, but it is actually a normal response of the body to the vaccine.

During a mammogram, doctors are able to see the lymph nodes that are located under the arm. The swollen nodes are located on the same side where the vaccine was injected. The lymph nodes may also be felt by worried patients through their skin.

Since doctors also see the same lymph node swelling in patients with breast cancer, they are now making it a point to ask their patients whether they received a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly when and on what side was it administered. Marshall also revealed that patients would start noticing the swollen nodes about two to four days after they received the vaccine, but the nodes would eventually go back to their normal size about two to four weeks later. However, if the swelling would last more than such a period, the patient may need to consult a doctor.

Coronavirus vaccine side effects. Photo: Pixabay

The UH Radiology and Breast Cancer Imaging Department has already received an increased number of calls from women who were quite concerned over the signs.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some trial participants of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have reported a number of side effects including joint pain, muscle pain, chills, and fever. Those who are in the age bracket of 18 to 55 were mostly those who reported the side effects.