Can tattoos increase the risk of cancer?

Can tattoos increase the risk of cancer?

Tattooing has accompanied humanity since ancient times in various cultures, but its practice… Get a tattoo Part of the body It has had different connotations throughout history. For years, in the West, it has been an objectionable practice by the majority of society to identify with prisoners, sailors, and low-draw people, but for years, tattoos have become They are experiencing a boom and are becoming an increasingly upward trend. They did not receive such acceptance as at present. In the United States alone, nearly a third of the population has at least one tattoo, according to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey. This sector has become a lucrative business that drives millions around the world. but, There are various related studies Bring Tattoos with possible harmful effects on health. The last of them is what they published Researchers from Lund University (Sweden) A Journal of Clinical Medicinewho found one Possible relationship between tattoos And kind of A cancer called malignant lymphoma.

Specific risk of 21%

Lymphoma is a type of cancer of the lymphatic systemThis helps fight germs and diseases. Known risk factors include a weakened immune system due to diseases or immune disorders such as AIDS, infections such as Epstein-Barr, age or family history of the disease, as well as exposure to certain chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, which may also increase the risk of lymphoma. . But the Swedish researchers, while acknowledging that more research is needed to determine the direct cause between tattoos and lymphoma, warn that according to their studies, People with tattoos are 21% more likely to develop lymphoma.compared to non-tattooed people.

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In this study there is Nearly 12,000 people from Sweden participatedThe artificial intelligence was developed through a case-control study through which they were able to identify all diagnosed cases of malignant lymphoma Between 2007 and 2017 – nearly 3,000 people – In people aged 20 to 60 years. From there, three age- and sex-matched random controls were sampled into a group who did not have cancer. In 2021, the study authors sent questionnaires to the people they identified, asking them about some lifestyle factors that might increase their risk of developing this type of cancer and whether they had any tattoos.

Skepticism among oncologists

The researchers found that even after taking into account factors known to influence cancer risk, such as smoking and age The risk of developing malignant lymphoma was 21% greater Among those who have at least one tattoo. The result is just a correlation, not a direct relationship. But the study authors stressed that more research will be needed to prove this conclusion. To the researchers’ surprise, they found no evidence to suggest that the risk increases as a person’s skin is covered with more tattoos. cancer experts, Instead, they acknowledge that the data is strong, but that tattoos are not among the major lymphoma risk factors, and that the 21% additional risk estimate comes from the new study models, but that Not statistically significant.

“We still don’t know why this is happening. One can only speculate that the tattoo, Regardless of its size, It causes low-grade inflammation in the bodywhich at the same time It can cause cancer”Co-author Christel Nielsen, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Lund University, said in a press release. “So the picture is more complex than we initially thought.”

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The problem may be the ink

The study’s authors speculate so One of the reasons Which may increase the risk of lymphoma It may be in inkwhich may contain Chemicals considered carcinogenicSuch as metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In addition, it has been confirmed that the pigment (ink) in tattoos is deposited in the lymph nodes, and this has not been studied in depth. This, coupled with the global increase in malignant lymphoma rates, raised the alarm. Previous studies have shown that ink can sometimes travel through the body and small particles can get stuck in lymph nodes, which can cause health problems.

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