Tattoos before radiotherapy

I refused to have tattoos in 2004 and the hospital did the radiotherapy using a mark made with a felt tip covered in sticky tape in the middle of my chest, and amole under my arm.

When I went to Guy’s hospital recently they said they don’t tattoo people any more, they have some way of identifying each time where the area is they need to radiate that means they don’t need to use tattoos.



I know lots of people have strong feelings about this , glad there are now other options .

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Thank you @Seagulls  , I mentioned this about Guys at my first radio pre appointment today. The registrar was not convinced but said she would ask for me.

(I’m wondering could they use freckles instead? It seems bonkers to tattoo you when there are already marks they could use. Or do they have to be in a specific place?)

I have had the tattoos, and tbh they are just like tiny birthmarks. I have one in my cleavage, one 2 inches below and one on each side. I feel that my scars are more disfiguring than those, and already identify that I have had cancer surgery so my tattoos are no different, they are battle wounds to me. 

Mind you, I have never been one for topless sunbathing, so their visibility on a beach isn’t an issue. 

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In my case they used a mole near the bottom of my armpit and just marked me with permanent black ink under selotape stuff. It was on for only three weeks as I had 15 sessions. The annoying thing was I had the breast off in 2022 as I got breast cancer in the same breast again despite the radiotherapy and surgery I had first time in 2003. Yes it was back again like a bad penny, but at least I had a less rare type in 2022.

I read Liz O’Riordan and co’s book before I was diagnosed/treated by Guy’s, and I knew that you can only have radiotherapy once so I knew I would have a mastectomy second time round which I was gutted about. When they said I could have a diep reconstruction I was lured into having one, but I hadn’t expected the supermarket trolley incident as my husband not familiar with doing any housework or shopping bashed the trolley right into the end of the moving staircase and ruptured my plastic surgical stitches for about three inches of the tum tuck. It took about three months to heal and a gaping hole isn’t good for the morale. Moral - beware of husband’s bearing trolleys. They don’t have the training. Lie in bed and send them shopping instead. I got back working far too early. Doss. Good luck dear MargotL. I see you wrote back to me in June 2023 so I just hope you had a better experience with shopping trolleys than I did…