The Girl With the Tiger Tattoo

June 22, 2011
Ted Rosen, MD
Ted Rosen, MD

A healthy 20-year-old woman presents for evaluation 6 months after getting a tattoo on her shoulder. She has "read on the internet" that tattoos can cause cancer, and she wonders whether you would advise her to remove this body art. Family history is positive for both colonic adenocarcinoma (paternal grandfather) and multiple myeloma (maternal grandmother). A recent set of basic hematology and biochemistry laboratory tests were all normal. She takes no medications, does not smoke, and drinks socially in moderation 4 or 5 nights a week.

What advice might you give her? Pick the best choice.