tattooing alternatives

Please could anyone advise if their radiology unit use alternative henna and/or permanent marker insteadof tattoos? thank you

No I’ve been told it will be tattoo!

Yes I think it’ll be a battle when I go armed with henna,permanent marker a film dressing as an alternative! I do thnk some units consider these other methods but not sure where

I can’t understand why even though I got the so-called tattoes the RT staff always insisted on marking all over my chest with black markers every day.

Thank you for that information too , I know it might sound over dramatic but I really don’t want them, I’ll let you know how i get on today

It’s only 2 tiny dots. Hardly noticeable at all. Is there a reason why you dont want the tattoos?
I had my 3rd rad treatment today. Come home covered in black n blue marker pen spots on me and my bra. Hoping they wash off.

Nobody ‘wants’ these tattoes, catzoo, if there is a better way. No matter how small, you are still left with them for life. And I found the experience an extra stress which I didn’t need at that time.

Sunshine 22, you do not have to have tattoos, or at least that’s what I was told when I had rads two years ago now. You can have permanent marker covered up with waterproof dressings to stop them rubbing off, but they do then have to check the measurements more carefully and you may not be able to shower etc.
My tattoos are tiny, so small that only the rads people could find two of them, but the central one is still there like a teeny blackhead. My hospital asked ‘is it OK to use the tattoos’ and if I’d said ‘no’ would have accepted that. Hope your lot are helpful and you feel comfortable with whatever you decide.

I had my initial planning session on Monday. I’d been advised that they would tattoo these tiny markers, and I was OK with that. They look like tiny freckles. Like RevCat I’d really need to hunt to see them.

But, the odd thing was, the timing was such that I went for my “rad therapy education class” right AFTER my planning appointment. They were talking about side effects, skin care etc, and also what to expect at your first and subsequent appointments.

When she described skin marking, she said they used a permanent marker, and then moved on. So I stuck my wing up, and said aught we mention tattoos at this point, just so people are aware, as needles are involved, huh?

She seemed quite thrown, and reiterated that the norm was marker pens. Well I told her I had just come from my planning appointment (in the same building, two floors below), and I had my tattoos to prove it. It was weird, like she didn’t believe me. She still said that as far as she knew, permanent markers were the norm, but admitted that “sometimes they do use tattoos”

I just thought it very odd, and it made me doubt the veracity of the rest of the information she gave us. Fortunately each radiation oncologist has their own nurse. I have yet to meet mine, but I do have her card. I presume she and the radiation therapists will all be “on the same page”, and thus be the best people to seek accurate information and advice, together with my own rad onc.

Of all the worrying things we have to deal with, I find that conflicting information or advice from different members of the medical profession is the most disquieting, even over something of (some would say) such little consequence.

I am, myself, a health professional, and I am amazed at how anxiety-provoking I find this. Maybe it is one good lesson I will take back to work with me, as and when …

Thank you for your replies and sorry for delay in update . I have to say I had the most brilliant radiologist who spent an hour giving me all the facts and rationale for choice of markings. She said it was always my choice and didn’t even laugh at my henna in a piping bag! She explained the 2 dots( I didn’t know how many as I’m having extra axilla radiotherapy ) would be 3mm and the permanent marker and film dressing is the better option but this was the previous practice and less accuracte than tattoo. I can swim with the tattoos which helped sway me and there are clinics who will remove with laser. My ct scan was rearranged to remove pressure of making a decision and just having time to discuss and have an empathetic ear was what was needed. I think Morwenna that sometimes these groups although with good intensions appear to be disjointed and more confusing.

Sorry Jennifer, I didn’t mean that to read that anyone should “want” the tattoo’s. it’s just that after chemo, MX, ANC then coming towards the end of treatment, two tiny dots seemed insignificant to me. I would be worried that marker pen would wear off or smudge. I have seen this week how much time and effort the radiologists spend getting me lined up accurately on the table using lasers to fix on the dots. Apologies if I caused any offence.