Invisible Tattoo May Help Breast Cancer Patients Self-Esteem After Radiotherapy

Invisible Tattoo May Help Breast Cancer Patients Self-Esteem After Radiotherapy
shutterstock_163881500Research presented this week at the National Cancer Research Institute meeting in the United Kingdom, has shown that using invisible tattoos to substitute for permanent dark ink in breast cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy, can help improve patient’s self-esteem. To ensure radiation therapy is accurately delivered in the same precise spot throughout different sessions, skin markings are necessary. However, previous studies have found that the marks of a permanent tattoo are a constant reminder of a situation that can have many psychological implications for patients, even years after treatment has finished. Furthermore, for women with darker skin, dark ink tattoos can be hard to efficiently localize, which could ultimately results in variable radiation treatment of targeted areas, a potentially dangerous and undesired end result. This recent study, funded by the NIHR and based at The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, gathered 42 breast cancer patients who were undergoing radiotherapy, and asked them to rate how they felt about their body, before and after the treatment. Half of these patients were given tattoos that were only visible when exposed to UV light, while the rest of the patients were tattooed with conventional dark ink. The results demonstrated that 56% of women with the fluorescent tattoos had a superior self-esteem regarding their bodies on
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