Doctors are warning women about where they get tattoos after one California woman’s ink led doctors to believe her cervical cancer had spread.
The 32-year-old mother of four reportedly received a PET/CT fusion scan, which injects the patient with a radioactive tracer that allows tumors to show up as bright spots, according to WOWKTV.
When the woman’s scan lit up, doctors believed her cervical cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, so they had to perform a full hysterectomy, removing her uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lymph nodes.
It wasn’t until they examined the “cancerous” cells later on that they realized what they saw were actually just deposits of tattoo ink from the 14 tattoos she had on her thighs and legs.
"When you tattoo, some of that ink will be absorbed in the cells in the lymphatic system and migrate to levels of lymph nodes," surgeon Dr. Ramez Eskander told CBS News.
Fortunately for this woman, the hysterectomy did turn out to be necessary, as doctors ended up finding a small number of cancer cells in one of her pelvic lymph nodes.
The condition, called "micrometastasis," meant the cells were too small to show up on a PET scan.
Have you ever heard of anything like this happening? Tell us in the comments!
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