Breast Cancer Tattoo Removal

Radiation | The Silver Pen

Radiation | The Silver PenOne of the constant reminders of my experience with FBC (f-bomb breast cancer) is my tattoos from radiation. Now, granted they are small, the size of pen dots. Most people wouldn’t even notice them.  The people who would and do are the people who have had them. You know who you are, unfortunately. I have long contemplated having them removed, but am still on the fence about it.

As you may recall from my radiation posts, doctors often tattoo cancer patients with black dots in order to pinpoint where to do the radiation treatments. The dots are super useful during radiation, but the truth is that they can be a painful reminder for many people such as myself about the FBC experience.

“Every time I saw them, it was a reminder of a very difficult time in my life. Having [the dots] removed was really important to me, just to get that part of my life behind me,” said & my awesome & inspiring friend Rebecca McCabe, who underwent both surgery and six weeks of radiation for FBC in 2011. I know exactly how she feels…and know quite a few other people who feel the same way.

Recently, I learned about a local Virginia business that  is stepping up to help people who have had FBC. UnTattooU in Vienna, Virginia (what a great name for a town, right?) is offering free radiation tattoo removal for people who have had FBC.

“We look at this as something that we can add to their care,” said Dr. Scott Berger, chief medical officer at UnTattooU.

What do you think?  Have you had it done?  Have you contemplated it?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

For more information about the promotion above, visit UnTattooU’s website. Anyone interested in doing this needs – as always! – have the procedure approved by their oncologist before scheduling an appointment.

* Photo of me at radiation by my dear Elizabeth Messina


Leave a comment


  1. mary snodgrass says

    I forgot I had them as I’m still fighting metastatic BC. My port is my constant reminder right now!

  2. says

    I really never thought about it all. I guess I always thought about them as my red badge of courage. Also, I don’t want any extra medical procedures in my life. Probably just be an anxious situation for me.

  3. Terry Henry says

    I hate my tattoo, it’s ugly, black and shows up when I wear certain cloths. The one between my breasts isn’t even centered and at the time I didn’t care. Its the ones under my armpits that I hate the most.

  4. Jeannie D says

    I was told that if I ever needed radiation again, the dots would point to where NOT to irradiate. I think my chances of that are small but I haven’t decided yet.

  5. says

    Honest to god, why can’t they f*ing figure out how to do a semi permanent tattoo? One that would last the 7 weeks, or whatever? One made of henna or something natural? Makes me so mad. The dots are for the convenience of the technicians and the women with FBC have to live with them forever. That’s just wrong.

  6. Ellen Hubbard says

    Thank you so much for this info, Hollye! As always, you provide me with so much support and great information in your blog!! The tattoos they did for me
    Are small, but the one under my neck is the visible one, and it is the largest. I just may do this!! Happy Thanksgiving!! Xoxo