Daily Mail- A California woman with cervical cancer believed more tumors had appeared when ink from her tattoos were mistaken for the disease on a body scan.
The unidentified 32-year-woman's lymph nodes lit up during a PET scan which led doctors to believe the cancer had spread, according to Livescience.
However, it was after surgery that doctors realized the lymph nodes actually absorbed some of the ink from the more than 14 tattoos covering her legs and thighs which caused them to appear as cancer on the scan.
'Those lymph nodes that were lighting up brightly on the PET scan were doing so because of the tattoo pigment that was in the lymph nodes,' Dr Ramez Eskander, assistant clinical professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine, told Livescience.
To treat her cancer, doctors removed her uterus, cervix, Fallopian tubes and pelvic lymph nodes, according to Livescience.
Following the surgery and after examination of the cells from the lymph nodes, doctors learned the cells contained deposits of tattoo ink and not cancer.
Psshhhh, 12 years of school and you still can't even get it right. Kind of nice to know that even doctors make mistakes, no? Well, not if you have an appointment anytime soon, or if you are this woman that just the better part of her groin removed. However, I still think we are going to have to give this doctor a pass. You don't know that tattoo ink looks like cancer until you mistake tattoo ink for cancer. Fool me once, shame on you, as they say. Can't really blame the medical expert for this one. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure they don't cover that in medical school. Generally speaking, it's probably safer to assume that a cancerous person has cancer in their lymph nodes instead of a little bit of body ink. If someone broke into your house with a knife in their hand you wouldn't assume that the red stuff on their shirt was ketchup. It's like filling a 'Poland Spring' bottle with water and leaving it around the house. Of course your guests are going to think it's water. It's supposed to be water. 99.9% of the time it is water. If the label says water then it's water, and if the multi million dollar PET scanner says it's cancer then it's cancer. I thought we had already gotten to the point where we could trust machines? Can't fault the doctor for not recognizing some tattoo ink if it was wearing a good enough cancer disguise to fool technology.
I guess the takeaway here is don't get pelvic tattoos if you have cancer? Maybe use the non-cancerous areas of your body as a canvas until you beat the disease? See, you do learn something new everyday. Regardless, there is quite the silver lining to this conundrum. If I know one thing it's that you can't get uterine cancer if you no longer have a uterus. This doctor may not have the diagnosing thing down to a science, but he's quite the idiot savant when it comes to preemptive cancer removal surgery. I don't think you can go as far as calling this malpractice. In fact, if the whole point of practice is to become better at your craft then this was one of the most productive practices ever. Fuck what Allen Iverson has to say, it appears practice can make perfect, even if it does claim a cervix and some completely healthy fallopian tubes along of the way.