A 32-year-old woman being treated for cervical cancer went through a roller coaster of emotions when she was told that the cancer had spread to her pelvis–before discovering that the situation was much different.
The woman had received a PET scan prior to the removal of her uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and pelvic lymph nodes. After receiving the results, her doctor, Dr. Ramez Eskander, noticed that the scan indicated a spread of the cancer by the presence of specific areas being lit up. However, once the lymph nodes were removed, it was discovered that they weren’t cancerous.
Upon further examination, it was discovered that the ink deposits from the multiple tattoos the woman had on her legs were the cause for the false positive. Specifically, the ink had been absorbed into the lymphatic system and eventually found their way into the lymph nodes in question.
The most positive news emerging from this situation was the fact that the woman had no complications and was able to leave after three days in the hospital.
The potential for a similar situation developing in the future is quite possible as a result of the explosion of both men and women getting tattoos in all shapes and sizes. In many cases, the number for an individual can reach double digits.
Such a circumstance served as a wakeup call to the medical community to be more aware about the tattoos a patient may have, considering the likelihood that they could show up on future scan.