Tattooless radiotherapy

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Radiotherapy -small-image

What is it for?

To plan radiotherapy treatment

Treatment overview

In the modern era of image-guided radiotherapy, tattoo marks are still is an important step in radiotherapy planning. These marks plays a crucial role during a course of radiotherapy to achieve reproducibility of treatment set-up and accuracy of treatment delivery.

However an accurate and reliable marking is only a gateway for desired radiation delivery. Concerns about tattoos include:

  • Visibility
  • Being permanent in nature
  • Social-religious beliefs
  • Mobility of skin
  • A constant reminder of the diagnosis

At The London Clinic we offer a choice of whether to have the tattoos or not to patients who have been referred for radiotherapy to the breast.

Unlike other areas which like internally, the breast tissue lies externally, so the treatment target can be viewed visually prior to leaving the room and taking an image to verify the set up.

If you are referred for breast radiotherapy, the radiographer will explain the procedure to you and offer you a choice of the number of tattoos or to go tattooless.

View body location
Upper torso image

About Radiotherapy Tattoos

During your radiotherapy planning session, your radiographer might make between one and three permanent pin point tattoo marks on your skin.

These are usually the size of tiny freckles and your therapy radiographers will ask your approval before using a small needle to prick the ink under your skin.

The tattoos act as reference marks, the radiographers use these marks to line you up into the same position every day.

Your radiographer might also draw marks around the tattoos with an ink pen. This highlights the tattoos in a dark room and makes them look like small crosses.

If these marks wash or rub off, there is no need to worry, as the radiographer can re-mark them if required.

Further reading:

Skin markings methods and guidelines: A reality in image guidance radiotherapy era (South Asian Journal of Cancer.)

Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.


Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis

Get in touch

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