Mexico.- Throughout this pandemic, caused by the new coronavirus, have been published various fake news in social networks, especially with what has to do with alleged effects that COVID-19 vaccines can cause in people.

Some of these publications have even suggested that there is a causal relationship between these vaccines and breast cancerThat is, getting vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus could cause this deadly disease.

And it is that they affirm that the axillary lymph nodes of some women swell after receiving the immunization, but they omit that this side effect is to be expected and is not related to cancer. Such inflammation is an expected effect not only of the covid-19 vaccine, but of others. In an interview for Debate, Alejandro Zentella Dehesa, senior researcher of the Department of Genomic Medicine and Environmental Toxicology, of the Biomedical Research Institute of UNAM, explained why these statements are false.


In the words of the doctor of biochemistry, there is no evidence that vaccines against covid-19 or any other vaccine contributes to the development of any type of cancer. According to the UNAM researcher, if we delve into what is known so far about vaccines and this cancer disease, then we can understand why it is difficult to relate them.

First, he said, cancer is caused by mutations, errors that are created in our genetic material which, in the case of breast cancer, in order for it to develop, there must be the introduction of errors in the genetic material of the cells that line the ducts. or the lobules where the milk is created.

“These mutations are generated between 10 and 15 years before cancer appears. By the time cancer manifests itself as a disease, we are actually seeing the result of a microevolution that has lasted for at least 10 to 15 years, “said the expert.

Cancer development

In those 10 or 15 years, depending on the person, the first mutation or error usually just causes cells to divide more quickly or more efficiently. Uncontrolled proliferation, unfortunately, is a mechanism that generates mutations, which are repaired, but not 100 percent of them.

“It is estimated that each time our genome replicates, about 3,000 mutations are introduced, most of these are corrected, but there are always a few hundred of them that are not,” explained Zentella Dehesa. He added that many of these mutations occur where they have no effect on the functioning of the human body.

However, over time errors appear in other genes that do have to do with cancer development. Hence this long distance in time between the appearance of the first mutations and the appearance of cancer as a disease. This is, broadly speaking, what is known about the appearance of breast cancer in this case.


On the other hand, before correlating breast cancer with covid-19 vaccines, first, we must remember what vaccination is. Vaccination is an immediate phenomenon, for example, a person was vaccinated last month, so in a month no mutations are created that produce changes. The only mutations that can be created in this way are those due to radiation, for example: the atomic bomb in Hiroshima wreaked havoc on the health of its inhabitants, but even these radiation took many months to develop tumors, the researcher recalled. Hence, the specific question: can the presence of antiviral vaccines introduce errors in our genome? The answer is no, because the frequency is very low. There is no history that any vaccine has generated tumors, said the biochemistry expert.


Regarding this alleged relationship between covid-19 vaccines and inflammation of the lymph nodes, Zentella explained why they become inflamed. He mentioned that, once the tumor has acquired several mutations over the years, not days or months as in the case of a vaccination, then the cells reactivate programs that allow them to spread in the body that, after the development of the embryo, cells have to travel from one tissue to another, for example, the cells of the glands that produce insulin are actually neurons that traveled from the marrow to where the pancreas develops, then the cells have to spread.

The problem is that cancer cells learn and reactivate this process of spreading out of place and out of time and this allows them, in the case of breast cancer, to enter the lymphatic tree and, then, through the lymphatic opening, they end in the axillary or supraclavicular nodes.

And in breast cancer, part of the diagnosis is palpation of the nodes to assess whether there is invasion of the axillary nodes and, if found, then it is already considered a form of cancer in the process of dissemination.

The axillary lymph nodes, those found in the neck, in the groin, can also become inflamed when there is an infection, because the cells of the immune system go to those places to be activated and, if you have a very acute infection, it will there are many of these cells that are going to become inflamed, he noted.

But it is a transitory inflammation and, generally, it is associated with other characteristics of an infection, such as fever, general malaise, joint pain, diarrhea, runny nose, in the case of the flu virus, and in the patient with cancer not these features are present, there is inflammation, but there is no other indication of infection. “So you can distinguish those differences very clearly,” he said.

Go to the doctor

What should anyone, particularly a woman, who has swollen glands in the armpits or above the collarbone, on the top of the shoulder, near the neck, do? You should go to the doctor, because, regardless of whether it is inflammation or it could be a metastasis, that can no longer be resolved by the patient, but it is a sign that should not be left lightly, due to the risk of breast cancer.

“I don’t want it to sound like something alarmist, but it is rather a precautionary thing and the best tool that women and men have, because men also get breast cancer, 100 times less frequent than in women. Any anomaly that we have related to possible breast cancer, let’s go to a doctor and let him tell us if it is or not, because what we do know is that prevention, early detection of cancer, is always close to a possible cure complete, while if we let it go for up to months, the person may receive treatment, but it is already very difficult to cure it, “recommended the specialist.

Get vaccinated, yes or no?

Regarding this vaccination process that the world population goes through against this new coronavirus, Zentella Dehesa recalled that vaccination causes very different effects in humans. First, the activation of the immune system affects the other systems and, for example, there are people who did not have a single symptom when they were vaccinated, and others who had their body cut off.

“The lymph nodes are deflated because they have many immune cells that are working with the vaccine antigen, but after two days all these symptoms disappear,” he said. Also, there may be affections on the endocrine axis (hormones), but it is not something that will happen in all women, rather it happens, for example, in those who have irregularity in their menstrual cycle, therefore, they are more susceptible to an emotional imbalance.

“That they are going through a complex emotional moment, then it is rather the confluence of many circumstances; and vaccination, in reality, is nothing more than the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but it is not the causal agent of the problems ”, he indicated. When questioning the expert if he recommends the population to get vaccinated against covid-19, the expert indicated that it is.

He explained that it is very important to be vaccinated against covid-19, since most of the deaths, which unfortunately continue to occur, occur in people who have not been vaccinated.

“The vaccine they give me is good. If it is a single dose, like CanSino, that is enough; and in the case of two doses, in the same way, they are sufficient ”.

He also explained that vaccinated people who die are people over 65 years of age, with diabetes problems, hypertension, a history of pre-infarction and the onset of diabetes. So these organisms “are already very compromised, they are very busy solving many problems, if on top of that I put a viral infection of the respiratory system, it may be that their global system can no longer hold,” said the doctor in biochemistry.

Vaccinated people who are dying are those who have many elements of risk of dying for other reasons, he reiterated.

To understand …

False information

The great diffusion that social networks have in this time of pandemic, has come to cause false information to go around the world, shocking thousands of users. An example of this was the rumor that arose from a message, spread by social networks, in which it was stated that doctors in the United States had warned that women “could develop breast cancer” after the covid vaccine -19.

And it is that a link was not established between vaccines against covid-19 and breast cancer. In fact, the doctor pointed out that one of the possible adverse effects after vaccination against COVID-19 was the swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit area.

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The Data

False alarms

Healthcare professionals “can see these swollen lymph nodes [a causa de las vacunas] in mammograms ”. As the swelling of these nodes in the armpit area is also a sign that is often associated with the appearance of breast cancer, “false alarms” can be generated. In other words, doctors, when looking at the lymph nodes on mammograms, may believe that it is due to cancer, when in fact it may be a common and temporary reaction to COVID-19 vaccines.

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