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Cancer shock because of tattoo
Shock for a young woman from Australia: After the 30-year-old discovered swollen lymph nodes under her arms, the doctors assumed cancer. That was obvious, because the lymph node swelling had existed for a long time and could not be attributed to inflammation or infection. But the precise examination of a knot revealed astonishing things: Because it was not cancer cells, but color pigments of an old tattoo that were responsible for the development of the tumor. The unusual case has now been published in the specialist magazine “Annals of Internal Medicine”.
Tattoo trend is unbroken
Tattoos continue to be a mass trend. According to the Stiftung Warentest, almost every tenth person in Germany has a tattoo, and almost one in four of those under 16–29 years old. A woman from Australia has now experienced that the decorations on the body can have an evil aftermath. The 30-year-old had discovered little balls under her arms, but otherwise felt completely healthy. After further examinations, however, everything indicated a malignant tumor - a shock for the young patient. But in the end everything turned out differently because it turned out that a 15 year old tattoo was responsible for the thickening under the armpits.
No further symptoms
According to the report, the woman came to the clinic after feeling swollen lymph nodes under her arms. She had no other complaints such as fever, night sweats, weight loss or cough and, apart from the small knots under her armpit, appeared healthy. However, an X-ray examination showed further swollen lymph glands, including in the lungs.
Doctors remove the black tumor
Since the patient's lymph nodes had been enlarged for a long time and there was no infectious disease or inflammation, the doctors suspected a serious cause: "99 percent of these are cancer," said the treating doctor, Dr. Christian Bryant, according to the station "CNN". The doctors from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney removed one of the lymph nodes and exposed a creepy-looking, black tumor. But a detailed examination gave a surprising result: The reason for the swollen knots was not cancer cells, but the ink of a 15-year-old tattoo that covered the woman's back.
Immune cells monitor the skin
But how can that be? As the experts explain, the patient's immune system had apparently responded to the tattoo. "The skin has its own immune cells that always monitor the skin," says Dr. Bill Stebbins, director of cosmetic dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
After the immune cells "discovered" the tattoo ink and identified it as a foreign substance, they took it up and tried to destroy it. However, this did not succeed because the color pigments were too large for the cells. As a result, the pigments of the tattoo colors had migrated through the body as nanoparticles and had accumulated in the lymph nodes over the years - until dark, large tumors developed in the end.
The trigger for the reaction remains unknown
Why the reaction started 15 years after the tattoo was a mystery. The doctors couldn't have clarified exactly what triggered it, Bryant said. The patient said that her tattoos occasionally caused itching, but only for a few days every month. However, the type of inflammatory reaction in her lymph nodes - called granuloma - was not found in her skin.
For Bryant and his colleagues, this is an absolutely unusual case - and the first time they have seen anything like this, “CNN” reports. "Most people who have tattoos have absolutely no problems," Bryant said. "We do a lot of laser tattoo removal in our practice, and sometimes we see people who develop allergic reactions to the ink," explains the director of the Juva Skin and Laser Center in Manhattan, Dr. Bruce Katz. However, these reactions would lead to red and not black pigmentations.
No further danger for the patient
According to the report, the woman's lymph node swelling has now decreased. "The lady will have no major difficulties. That means we can look at the case with interest without feeling sad, ”said Bryant. "It doesn't happen very often in my job," says the doctor.
Itching and inflammation from tattoo inks
Experts keep warning about health risks from tattoos. Bleeding often occurs and there is often an allergic reaction to the pigments in the colors, which can manifest themselves as an itchy rash or even severe inflammation. Accordingly, the tattoo should be carried out by a qualified person and only under strict hygienic conditions.
You should pay attention to this with tattoos
But what characterizes a good tattoo artist? When choosing the studio, particular attention should be paid to hygiene. So look carefully to see if the tattooist is wearing fresh disposable gloves and sterile (undistilled) water is used to dilute the colors. A clean workplace should also be a matter of course.
Instruments and materials such as needles, paper towels, swabs for skin injuries etc. should generally only be used as disposable material. A reputable tattoo artist can also be recognized by the fact that he does not “start” right away, but first advises the customer thoroughly and explains possible risks. (No)