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Radiotherapy Tattoos

27 REPLIES 27
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Happy Birthday Mcnulcc, glad that alls well and that you are off for birthday celebrations xxxx

Re tattoos-Glad to say not an issue here. The one on my chest is about the size of the nib of a ball point pen and looks like a faded freckle. I never gave them a second thought as tattoos have never bothered me, i have one that was done about 18 years ago, one mad Saturday just woke up and decided to go for a rose on my shoulder.
As with all our journeys on here, we are all different and one situation can be felt totally differently by each of us.
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

How lucky for you in Liverpool's to get the pass. I drive too so not sure if I would ever make use of one either. Good luck with everything and enjoy your birthday celebrations!! 💖💖
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Alibobs here in Liverpool we get a free bus pass for local travel at 60. As a driver I didn't think I would get much use out of it but now it's arrived and I see how far 'local' is defined I think it will be worth it's weight in gold. I can get as far as Chester and Southport which are both lovely places to visit so my fitness plans will include trips there along with some nice long coastal walks along the river Mersey and Dee..My actual birthday is Thursday so we are going away with the family for a smaller than planned celebration. I'm putting big celebrations on ice till end of August when treatment finishes and we can have a really good double celebration. Chris x
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Sorry just seen you are actually in Liverpool!! How did you manage to get a bus pass mcnulcc?? 😲 xx
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Mcnulcc so pleased for you that part is done!! If you are anything like Me you will find the radiotherapy treatments easy, just the travelling that's a bind!! Enjoy your holiday and happy birthday too!! Was my 60th last year!!! Had all sorts planned too and mostly did them all but then in October was hit with the news I had BC! Sure put a damper on everything but I've had all my treatment and I am now just taking anastrozole. I managed to fit all my holidays in and amongst the ops and rads too!!! Onwards and upwards now! Ps I'm surmising you live in Scotland as we no longer get the bus pass at 60 in England!!!💖💖
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Alibobbs. HAVE had tattoo's done today at planning meeting. What an idiot I have been they are so small that you really have to look hard to find them. Staff at centre were amazing and very supportive. Off for a little holiday to celebrate my 60th birthday next week and then back to start treatment on 30th. I feel so much better now and know that once treatment is over I can start to plan my big holiday that we have had to cancel due to diagnosis and treatment. When we get back from hospital my bus pass had also arrived. Bus pass AND tattoo's all in one day I'm going to be a rock and roll pensioner for sure xx
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

I promise they are nothing to worry about. Just make sure you let them know how you feel about not wanting them to be obvious! Good luck with it all. I take anastrozole and a seems to be going ok 🤞🤞💖💖💖
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Alibobbs thanks for your reassurance I have got myself in such a state over this. Not having a good week. Letrozole side effects and the heat not helping so tired and everything seems to be going wrong. Think I just need to go with the flow on Friday and stop worrying about it.
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Can I just jump on here to tell you I felt exactly the same about having the tattoos done. It's not something I would ever personally choose to gave done. I was so worked up about having these dots permanently marking my body worked myself up to a right old state!! However when I spoke to the rads team who were doing the dots and voices my concerns they were so lovely. I can honestly say you can't even see mine. The girl who god them was so gentle with them that even the rads team remarked she had done a remarkable job!! I was then worried they wouldn't be able to find them when I had my rads sessions but if course they know what to look for. That was in February and truthfully you can't find them now!!💖💖
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Ellaroo. I am going to my mapping meeting on Friday and expect to have my tattoos done. I live in Liverpool did you have yours done at clatterbridge. I really hate tattoos and feel that once treatment is over these are going to be a constant reminder of what I have /am currently going through. I know I am very lucky i have retained my breast all be it slightly odd looking but I am feeling very low at the moment and dreading starting this part of the journey. I seem to be crying more now than when I was first diagnosed. Feeling so stupid for worrying about a few dot's. Did anyone else feel like this.

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hi I regretted having them and travelling further each day was used as reason to persuade me. I weakened and trying now to find somewhere in merseyside that will remove them at reasonable cost. Oh radiologist dr also said imp,to have them as may get lung cancer and need them. Im only stage ll A ? I want them removed esp one on chest .

regards,

Ellaroo

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hi

am hoping tomget my tattoos removed. Have you had any success? Hope so x  

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Sorry twistie 123 I have only just seen this. I hope if you have now had your planning and tattoos that it went as easy as mine did! I had the tattoos but I can honestly say they were completely painless and absolutely minute!! I have now almost completed my radiotherapy with just 3 sessions left and it has all gone very well so far!! I wish you all the best, please let us know how you are getting on xxx
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hi Alibobs,

 

Just wondering what the answer was when you spoke about avoiding tattoos. I am really not bothered about the pain but I absolutely hate tattoos!

 

Kaz xx

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Thanks for your replies I will be speaking to them at the hospital tomorrow and ask if I can avoid if possible. Hope you are all well xxx
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

I am in Australia and had my radiation done at the cancer centre in my home town. It's ran by The Alfred Hospital. I had my rads done last May. During my mapping, they used existing freckles. I had 2 every small dots placed under my arm but that's it. Between my breasts they used tape and magic marker. If you don't want tattoo's you should have the choice. I actually asked them what happens when someone who is covered in tattoos needs radiation. The told me they line the person up using the "snakes head" or whatever the tattoo might be. Sorry, am banging on.. my point is that here at least we have the option of tattoo or not.

 

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Alibobs

 

I have never had a tattoo before either.

 

The only one I felt was the one in the midde, probably because that is the boneiest bit, the other two at each side I did not even feel.  Honestly it is over in second and I can say that as one who hates hates hates needles xxxxx

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hello Alibobs, don't have a sleepless night as you don't need to worry or stress - the tattoos don't hurt, just like a tiny scratch and I couldn't even find mine!! Mind you, I do wear glasses.Cat Wink

They don't even look as large as a blackhead, but tiny tiny pin pricks.  Do hope you get on ok - Cat Very Happyxxx

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

I, too, was stupidly worried about the tattooing.  I'm a true coward!  Can say, hand on heart, that it was painless. And took just moments. Tattoo makes it sound more than it is.  I had 3 marks - one on my sternum and one each side of my rib cage.  They are barely noticeable.  In fact, the ones at the sides, I need a mirror to see them.  They are the size of a felt tip pen tip mark. The radio team need the marks to be in an exact position, so they are very careful.  I found them to be very considerate too. Bearing in mind, all the other hurdles we have to jump to get through treatment, the tattooing process doesn't even register!  

 

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Does it hurt when you have the radiotherapy tattoos done?? Never had a tattoo in my life. Never wanted one and now looks like I have no choice! Something else to worry and stress about!! I just don't do pain and needles!!
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Trudy I refused them so they used ultraviolet ones, that aren't visible day to day.  The process is the same, so I can only guess it must be more expensive & thus not offered.  Another lady in my rads group had stickers instead of tats.  As ever, just a postcode lottery x

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Thanks for your lovely reply. N.A.P,

  You are right when you say we do not kick up enough fuss. Is it worth liaising with PALS at the said hospital ? It's been a while now since i had RT, 6 years nearly. I had heard that markers could be pen-marked, but i was never given the option. I think its worrying for them to have the marks fade off.

 You're right, in the middle of everything else it is such a trivial thing but years later, they are like psychological scars on me.

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Dear Trudy,

 

Laser tattoo removals are pretty well established by now, offered by cosmetic skin treatment centres or tattoo/piercing studios. They work by breaking down the molecules of the dye into pieces small enough to be cleaned up by your immune system. RT tattoos can often be removed within 1-3 treatments, but obviously your body needs some time to do the cleaning up part, so they should fade gradually over weeks and months. Immediately after the treatment you will probably have a small blood blister or wound (max size of the treated area), but normally they heal without scars. As always with medical treatments,there is the disclaimer that every person reacts differently... I don't see a reason not to try it.

 

As far as skin-coloured tattoos go. You might want to consider that tattoos do not tan, if that is factor in your case.

 

I'd like to ask you a favour (for lack of a better word). Please let your cancer treatment centre, oncologists, radiologists etc know how you feel about these tattoos. Technically it is absolutely possible to do RT without tattooed marks, but radiologist like them and often do not offer alternatives, therefore essentially forcing patients to have them (if they want RT). They seem to be able to convince themselves that this acceptable, because of the benefits, because the dots are small, because cancer patients have bigger problems and don't protest enough. I did protest, and found myself being talked down like a six-year-old who doesn't want to go to the dentist, kind of aggressively, too.

This practice is unlikely to change unless we patients make some noise. Please, let's change it! Thank you, and good luck.

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of having another skin coloured tattoo to camouflage it

That option sounds the best to me .

I'll have to research some places where I could go, I'm not very tattoo-wise, lol

Wouldnt it be a good idea if the actual radiotherapy dept could offer this second skin coloured tattoo at the end of treatment !

 

xx

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

I met with a lady who does 3D nipple tattoos last week and she said that she can cover scars by tattooing them with skin coloured ink so I guess you could do another tattoo to camouflage it?

I had an uplift to my good side after my mastectomy and recon, she said that she could ink in the white scar line around my nipple.
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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hey, Lucie, thanks for your reply.

I never thought of laser removal. Yes please, let me know your end result, it will be interesting to see if it works. I hope it doesnt leave a scar.

Ive thought about turning it into a tattoo of something else, like a small cross or a star but I dont think I'd like that either incase it shows with tops i may wear.

 

xx

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Re: Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hi Trudy
Just to say I feel the same way. Despite having one foob and feeling and looking very wonky with different shaped boobs, my tattoo really bothers me. I completed all chemo and radio by October 2015 and a few months ago I enquired about tattoo removal. I am not bothered about my tattoo under my arm as cannot see it, but the one on my chest, looks very blue and I think is quite obvious. I have so far had 2 treatments of laser removal and the guy that is doing it for me said they used a lot of ink and so will probably take a few treatments.
I think we all react to things differently and if it bothers you this is one way of getting rid of it. I suppose you could also use another coloured ink to cover it, but not sure. Hope I can post in a months time and will have hopefully got rid
Lucie
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Radiotherapy Tattoos

Hi, I just wondered if anyone finds the black tattoos from radiotherapy quite annoying?

 

Mine were done by a ' novice ', it was her first time doing the tattoo and they are quite large.

Obviously I cant see the two on either side of my chest but the one in the centre I see every day.

I've seen someone else's before and they're barely noticeable.

Mine look like big blackheads that could do with a good squeeze.

 

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone has tried to get rid of theirs and how ?

 

Is there such thing as a white tattoo that can cover it ?

 

Thanks , Trudy x