National

Posted: October 05, 2017

Woman discovers strange lumps on her body caused by old tattoo ink not cancer


By Najja Parker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When one woman discovered some unusual lumps on her body, her doctors thought it might be cancer. Turns out the lumps were actually caused by a tattoo.

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According to a case report, recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a 30-year-old woman called her physician when she noticed some weird lumps near her armpit for two weeks with no other symptoms. 

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After her doctors asked had she been on any medication, aside from birth control, or had any surgical procedures, aside from her breast implants, they examined the affected area and administered a PET-CT (positron emission tomography–computed tomography).

The results showed several enlarged lymph nodes throughout her chest - a symptom consistent with the cancer lymphoma.

»RELATED: Can your tattoos leave behind toxic ink that could affect your immune system?

But when the doctors sampled the lymph nodes, they were not cancerous all. However, they were black.

The ink from a back tattoo the patient received 15 years earlier had seeped into her lymph nodes, causing the discoloration. They also found that once the cells from her nodes were exposed to the ink, they became irritated, which caused the swelling and some itching. 

The doctors believe she had a hypersensitivity or allergic reaction to the tattoo ink that may have occurred more than once.

In fact, after 10 months the swelling had completely subsided without any treatment or intervention. 

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the study here

»RELATED: What hiring managers really think about your tattoos

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