The Dangers of Tattoo: A Cancer-Like Reaction was Seen in a Woman's Lymph Nodes

Khryss | Published 2017-10-22 12:33

Warning: gross picture ahead.

All tattoos come with great risks. Yes, they may be cool to look at, but it could lead to complications if not done properly.

It all starts with a design and a sterile equipment. (P.S. DON'T FORGET TO SHAVE) Then, when you're ready, that's when the magic happens. After that, you're not the same person anymore--a part of you is not the same anymore. Well, at least a patch of your skin.

However, sometimes things don't go very well--you get hypersensitive on that particular area or oops! you're allergic to the ink or something along the way is so unsanitary that it led you to unwanted infections.

Now, if all of those sound really bad to you, better prepare yourself for you're about to read worse: A lady had her tattoo for fifteen years already; but just recently, she noticed some bumps in both of her armpits two weeks before visiting a clinic in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. These symptoms are common of lymphoma. However, when the doctors examined her, she didn’t show any other signs of lymphoma like fevers, weight loss, itching, and excessive sweating.

The doctors also noticed a number of lumps that stretches to up to 1.5 centimetres in diameter. And when the they removed the lumps, what they found surprised them. They got macrophages--immune cells that recognize, engulf and destroy target cells--full of black pigments from the tattoo!

"To the best of our knowledge, the PET-CT findings of markedly glucose-avid nodes in multiple areas have not previously been described. This feature in combination with the clinical findings mimicked lymphoma," the doctors wrote in their paper.

There have actually been similar cases of people whose tattoos have mimicked the symptoms of lymphoma--but of the skin. "The case we describe is unique in that there was no skin reaction, only granulomatous change within the lymph nodes. In addition, no cutaneous, pulmonary, or systemic symptoms were observed to suggest systemic sarcoidosis," the doctors wrote. "We believe that this case highlights the importance of a careful tattoo history and physical examination."

Guess we all know what the moral of this story is.

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