False: COVID-19 vaccines cause breast cancer in women.

By: Neetha CJ
July 14 2022

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False: COVID-19 vaccines cause breast cancer in women.


The Verdict False

No scientific evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines cause breast cancer in women.

Claim ID e44c5d2b


In 2020, nations around the world rolled out vaccines to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. After this, anti-vaxxers started questioning the vaccine's efficiency, and false and misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines began circulating on social media. One post said, "Women recently vaccinated against Covid show a typical side effect: breast cancer." However, there is no reliable evidence to back the claim. 


In fact:

WebMD, an American corporation and online publisher of news and information about human health and well-being, has published information regarding COVID-19 vaccine reactions. It says that the vaccine can cause lymph nodes to swell, mainly those in the armpit on the side where the shot is received. Armpit lymph nodes are often mistaken for breast lumps. 


According to Dr. Brett Parkinson, Medical Director of Intermountain Medical Center Breast Care Center in Murray, Utah, lymph node swelling is a typical harmless response to the vaccine. It can cause a false positive on a mammogram, adding the need for further testing. Parkinson said that women who find a swollen lymph node in the armpit of the arm where they got their vaccine shot should not immediately suspect breast cancer. 


Lisa Mullen, M.D., a radiologist specializing in breast imaging, said there is no connection between the COVID-19 vaccine and breast cancer. She says that not all vaccines cause swollen lymph nodes, the COVID-19 vaccine is a new type of vaccine, and people are reacting strongly to it. That intensified immune response is normal and expected. She also says they are trying to educate patients and avoid unnecessary recalls, tests, and anxiety.


On National Cancer Institute's website Steven Pergam, M.D. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, clarified that "There are no data that suggest that COVID-19 vaccines cause cancer, lead to recurrence or to disease progression."


The research titled "Axillary Lymph Node Swelling Mimicking Breast Cancer Metastasis After COVID-19 Vaccination" conducted by Japanese researchers states that after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, axillary lymph node swelling has been reported in many cases. This was not a cancer metastasis but rather a side effect of the vaccine. 


The verdict:

There is no factual evidence showing a direct link between the COVID-19 vaccination and breast cancer. Swelling of the Lymph node under the armpit after being vaccinated for COVID-19 is not related to breast cancer. Hence, we have marked this claim as false.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before