A recent study reveals that tattoos can cause a rare type of cancer

For the first time, tattoos have been connected to a deadly form of blood cancer.

A recent study reveals that tattoos can cause a rare type of cancer

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden discovered that tattooed people had a 21 percent increased risk of lymphoma, compared to those without tattoos.

The cause of lymphoma is thought to be carcinogenic chemicals in the tattoo ink; when injected into the skin, it is interpreted as something foreign and the immune system is activated, causing a low-grade inflammation in the body which can trigger cancer. Approximately 46 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 have at least one tattoo, and 22 percent of all.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 15% of Americans who do not currently have a tattoo stated they are fairly likely or extremely likely to get one. Using population registries, the researchers found individuals between the ages of 20 and 60 who had lymphoma.

They then matched the individuals with the lymphoma-positive control group, who were the same age and sex but did not have a lymphoma diagnose. After that, a questionnaire about lifestyle characteristics was presented to the individuals to find out whether or not they had tattoos.

The questionnaire was completed by about 1,400 lymphoma patients and 4,193 members of the control group. Eighteen percent (735) of the control group had tattoos, compared to twenty-one percent (289) of the lymphoma group.

'After taking into account other relevant factors, such as smoking and age, we found that the risk of developing lymphoma was 21 percent higher among those who were tattooed,' said Christel Nielsen, the researcher at Lund University who led the study.

The researchers had theorized that the size of the tattoo might impact the risk of lymphoma, and thought that a full body tattoo might be linked to a higher chance of cancer.

However, the results showed that the amount of body surface tattooed did not matter.

The researchers wrote in the journal eClinicalMedicine that they are not sure why this was the case.

'One can only speculate that a tattoo, regardless of size, triggers a low-grade inflammation in the body, which in turn can trigger cancer. The picture is thus more complex than we initially thought,' said Nielsen.

Next, the researchers plan to study whether there is any link between tattoos and other types of cancer.

There are various types of lymphoma, but two main ones: non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin. 

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells. It is named after Thomas Hodgkin, an English doctor who first identified the disease in 1832.

It affects around 2,000 people each year in the UK, and 8,500 a year in the US.

The five-year survival rate for the disease is 89 percent. 

In the US, non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects about 8,600 people yearly, whereas 14,000 new cases are reported in the UK.

If non-Hodgkin lymphoma is limited to one area, the cancer has an approximately 83% chance of being curable. White blood cells in your lymphatic system can transform into cancer cells that proliferate quickly and do not expire, which can lead to lymphoma.

The altered cells frequently gather on the lymph nodes, which are glands on the neck, groin, belly, and armpits that filter out waste products, and can develop into malignant lumps.

Similar to most malignancies, most genetic mutations occur spontaneously and have no known cause. However, studies have indicated that some infections, like HIV, weakened immune systems, and autoimmune diseases, may increase your risk.