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Tattoo Credit: Wikipedia

There has always been some concern about whether there are health effects from tattoos, especially ones that cover a large area of skin. Tattoo inks contain heavy metals, colors, nanoparticles, and all sorts of other chemicals, including carcinogens. A recent study conducted in Sweden found an increased risk of malignant lymphoma in persons with tattoos, specifically a 21% higher risk.

It has been known for years that tattoos cause chronic inflammation, and that nanoparticles from the inks travel throughout the body, including lymph nodes. It is thought that perhaps the low grade chronic inflammation from the tattoo is causing an increased risk for cancer in the lymphatic system, such as malignant lymphoma. Interestingly, in the study, the size of the tattoo did not increase the risk - it didn't seem to matter.

By the way, in this large study, 21% of individuals with malignant lymphoma had tattoos, but18% of persons who did not get malignant lymphoma also had tattoos. So... if you have a tattoo, it does not mean you'll definitely get lymphoma - it just increases the risk.

From Medical Xpress: Possible association between tattoos and lymphoma revealed

Our knowledge regarding the long-term health effects of tattoos is currently poor, and there is not a lot of research within this area. Now a research group at Lund University has investigated the association between tattoos and lymphoma. ...continue reading "Tattoos and Increased Risk of Cancer?"