Post by Graveyardbride on Jun 18, 2015 7:58:10 GMT -5
Doctors Mistake Tattoo Ink for Cancer on Body Scan
A California woman with cervical cancer underwent surgery after doctors mistook her tattoos on a body image scan for other tumors. The unidentified 32-year-old woman lit up during a full-body image scan in November 2012, leading doctors to believe her cancer had spread, Live Science reported. It wasn't until the mother of four had her uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and pelvic lymph nodes removed that doctors realized the bright spots in her tests were her tattoos. Her case was published Monday, June 8, in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
"Those lymph nodes that were lighting up brightly on the PET scan were doing so because of the tattoo pigment that was in the lymph nodes," said researcher Dr. Ramez Eskander, who treated the woman.
The woman, who had more than 14 tattoos on her legs, was injected with a radioactive tracer that makes tumors appear as bright spots on the scan, according to Live Science.
Doctors later learned the lymph nodes actually contained deposits of tattoo ink, not cancer. The scan's findings did not change the doctors' original surgical plan, which called for the removal of the same organs, and the cancer-free woman has since recovered well, Eskander said. But he warned surgeons to be aware that tattoos could affect scans and ultimately treatment strategies. "Findings of possible metastatic disease on PET scans can certainly change management," he said. "We want to make sure that people understand that these false positives could potentially arise in patients that have tattoos."
Source: Melissa Chan, The New York Daily News, June 11, 2015.