Hi SAA, Do you have a follow up appointment with your oncologist? I had one about a month after I finished my radio. In her summary letter following that appointment, she mentioned we had discussed removal of the tattoos - so I was able to use that. I can understand why clinics ask for the letter - they dont know the treatment plan so have to cover themselves. Don't worry about your scar yet - you'll be surprised how much it gradually improves over the first year.
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I'm a bit frustrated to see this has been a problem for so many years, and even those of us going through treatment in 2020 still end up with a permanent blue pen mark right in the middle of our chest. Don't let anyone tell you it is vain or unnecessary to want these removed. It is bigger than they said it would be. It doesn't look like a freckle. It affects self confidence, it affects the clothes you wear, and it acts as an unnecessary reminder. And if someone notices the mark and asks about it, your wish to keep a private surgery private is blown out of the water. I didn't get any guidance from the centre where I had the radio done or my breast care nurse on this. "Most people just leave it" or "yeah just ask around" were the responses I got. The good news is that it is easy to fix, and there are places out there that understand the situation and will offer the treatment for free. I'm no laser expert, but I had read that the newer picosure lasers are more effective at breaking down the blue ink over less visits, so I googled local clinics that offered tattoo removal with this laser, and emailed them to ask if they would provide the treatment for free (or a nominal fee to cover costs) for radio tattoos. I had one respond that they would be happy to, and they've been great so far. I've been once - its a very brief visit/quick shot - and will be re-done every 6 weeks until it breaks up. The other thing you need to decide for yourself is when to get it done. It's a personal decision, as it is all a lot going on at the time, so some prefer to do it later. But something to consider is that when you get the laser removal done, they tell you to keep that spot out of the sun for 6-12 months as the lasering makes it far more sensitive to light. That is also what you are told by the oncologist for your radio'd skin. So, to me, it made sense to start this process as soon as I got the all-clear from the oncologist to get the tattoo removal done (which for me was about a month after the radio finished), as that whole area of skin was going to be out of the sun for the next year anyway.
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