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Tattoos and Cancer: Can Tattoos Cause Cancer?

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Updated November 24, 2008

Question: Tattoos and Cancer: Can Tattoos Cause Cancer?
Answer: There is no evidence that support tattoos causing cancer. However, dark tattoos can make it difficult to detect moles that may be cancerous like melanoma. This is especially true for people who have "sleeves" (arms covered in tattoos), or those who have many tattoos.

People with tattoos need to examine their skin every month for changes -- just like people without tattoos. It may be more difficult and time consuming, but definitely worth the effort.

Source: Health Services at Columbia University.

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