Blood cancers

Tattoo reaction can mimic lymphoma

Swollen lymph nodes resulting from a reaction to tattoo pigment may mimic the clinical and radiological features of lymphoma, according to a case study from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

In the Annals of Internal Medicine the research team describe the case of a 30-year-old woman who presented to their clinic with a two-week history of bilateral axillary lumps.

Although her symptoms mimicked lymphoma, all blood tests came back normal and a biopsy revealed that the lumps were benign.

The physicians concluded that her symptoms were caused by a reaction to a tattoo she had received 15 years earlier.

The case highlighted the importance of a careful tattoo history and physical examination for cases of lymphadenopathy, they said.

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