Tattoos and Skin Cancer, is there a Link?

Skin_Cancer_Tattoo_Blog_May09.jpg Claims have been buzzing around health blogs that tattoos may be related to skin cancer. But is all the hype true? Does body art adversely affect and damage our skin, whilst also increasing the chances of developing skin cancer? The New York Times had an article today regarding this idea. Physicians interviewed said that they do not see a likely cause between tattoo ink metals inciting skin cancer; however they do believe there may be another cause. In the report a few physicians made note that they have seen cases where tattoos have covered up cancerous moles, thus the cancer has gone undetected and untreated. The New York Times reported, "More likely, he said, the tattoo was placed on an existing mole, making any changes in the mole hard to spot. Several case studies have dealt with melanomas that were overlooked because they arose from moles hidden by tattoos. Dr. Ostad says he is often asked whether tattoos can lead to cancer, and the answer "is unequivocally no." "But people should know that they should always leave a rim of healthy skin around a pre-existing mole." If you are concerned about the possibility of having covered a mole, it may be a wise choice to consider tattoo removal. The likelihood of tattoos inducing cancer may be quite slim, but taking extra caution in protecting your skin is always a good idea.
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