Tattoo caused 'cancer-like' infection 15 YEARS after it was inked

  • Tattoo caused 'cancer-like' infection 15 YEARS after it was inked

Tattoo caused 'cancer-like' infection 15 YEARS after it was inked

"We concluded that the diagnosis was granulomatous lymphadenitis, which was probably a hypersensitivity reaction to tattoo pigment", the doctors reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

A 30-year-old woman in Australia feared she had cancer after noticing small lumps in her armpit - only to be told that she was in fact experiencing a reaction to an old tattoo.

Doctors thought the woman's swollen lymph nodes could have been a sign of lymphoma - a form of cancer - but were shocked after putting looking at it under a microscope and finding out it was black tattoo pigment, which had been in her system for 15 years.

While experts have known for some time that tattoo ink can travel to the lymph nodes, this new report shows that the effect can still happen more than a decade after a person gets tattooed.

PA ImagesThe doctors said it was the first time they had heard of a case in which the lymph nodes were deep enough to mimic symptoms of lymphoma.

In the case of the Australian woman, whose name was not released, her lymph nodes were inflamed because of a reaction to the old tattoo ink, not due to cancer cells.

Horrifically, there were swollen lymph nodes in the woman's chest as well.

"This is a reminder that the immune system is created to remove foreign material and tattoo pigment is no exception", said coauthor Christian Bryant, a hematologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. Bryant, a hematologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, treated the patient. "Most people who have tattoos have absolutely no problems".

The woman had two tattoos: one on her back, completed 15 years ago, and a smaller, more recent one on her shoulder.

The woman is gonna be totally fine, with nearly no lasting effects from the process however professionals have reminded people set to get tattoos to do their research and make sure the artist in question is reputable.

Stebbins said, "The pigment is too large for these cells to eat and digest". Years later, the pigment traveled from the skin to the lymph nodes.

But why the woman had a reaction 15 years after her tattoo is a mystery. Doctors are stumped as to what caused the delayed reaction. Nearly three-quarters of Americans with tattoos usually hide them under clothing, according to the Pew report.

A man at Texas who newly got inked died swimming due to the infection caused by a bacterium found only in coastal waters.

"My job's often not like that".