Invisible tattoos could replace the permanent dark ink tattoos used to ensure that breast cancer patients having radiotherapy are treated in exactly the same spot during each session, according to results from a pilot study to be presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference today (Sunday).
Katherine Woods, Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, comments:
“Pin-point tattoo marks created during radiotherapy are essential as they enable clinicians to ensure that treatments are directed to the same part of the breast every time, however they can serve as a reminder for people of their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“Fluorescent tattoos, that only show up under UV light, could help ensure people receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer are satisfied with the cosmetic appearance and their body image after their treatment, and we look forward to large-scale studies of this technique in the future.
“Breast Cancer Campaign recognises the importance of helping women to maintain a positive body image following treatment for breast cancer, in addition to treating the disease. Previous research by Breast Cancer Campaign-funded researcher Dr Charlotte Coles, shows that Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) offers the best possible cosmetic results whilst maintaining the effectiveness of treatment. All women who could benefit from IMRT should have access to it.”