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What Are Radiation Therapy Tattoos & How to Remove Them

radiation therapy tattooAccording to the National Cancer Institute about half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Radiation is one of the most common treatments for breast cancer as it uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. If you choose to get radiation therapy to treat breast cancer you will be given radiation therapy tattoos.

Radiation Therapy Tattoos

Before you start radiation, you’ll probably get four small tattoos on your breast. They will help the radiation therapist easily find the spot you need treatment. This will spare healthy tissue and prevent recurrence. Think of it as placing a bulls-eye target on your body so the technician can work on the right spot.

The spots will be blue or black and made by a drop of ink from a slim needle. They will be very tiny and probably not exceed 1 millimeter in diameter.

A Testament of Survival

Most women keep the dots to remind them of the disease they conquered. They also give doctors a reference of where your treatments are. Some survivors even turn their tattoos into creative body art pieces to celebrate their life.

If your oncologist believes that you have a low chance of recurrence then you may want to consider having them removed. If you decide to remove your radiation therapy tattoo then consult with a tattoo removal specialist.

Removing a Radiation Therapy Tattoo

Cost is dependent on color and size of tattoo, so with black ink being the easiest ink to remove and the small size of the markings the cost will be minimal. The most innovative lasers for tattoo removal is the Picosure laser and the Q-switch Nd:YAG laser. Usually tattoo removal causes more discomfort in sensitive areas. To relieve any discomfort take a Tylenol a few ours before the treatment. Take time to do your research and ask a professional the right questions before the procedure.


Inkoff MD Honolulu, HI

InkOff.MD offers the most advanced techniques for tattoo removals with fascinating results.

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