Body-image Satisfaction Following Permanent Black or Invisible UV Ink Tattoos

Official Title

Body-image Satisfaction Following Permanent Black or Invisible UV Ink Tattoos for Localization of Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Fields in Breast Cancer Patients


A phase II prospective, randomized control trial assessing the impact of "invisible ink" ultra-violet (UV) tattoo ink versus conventional black tattoo ink for radiation therapy treatment localization on the quality of life of breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiation therapy. The effect of tattoo type on quality of life will be measured objectively using the externally validated body-image satisfaction (BIS) scale as the primary outcome of interest, with secondary endpoints including: accuracy/reproducibility of radiation therapy setup using the invisible ink tattoos, resource impact requirements, and clinical feasibility. A sample size of 60 patients is planned (30 per study arm) with an anticipated accrual period of 18 months.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Change in Body-image scale score
Secondary Outcome:
  • Set-up Accuracy
  • Resource Requirements (Tattooing procedure length)
  • Resource Requirements (Treatment set-up procedure length)
  • Radiation Therapist Evaluation Survey of UV Tattoo Method
Breast cancer patients ages 18-60 who are planned for adjuvant radiation therapy and who meet all inclusion/exclusion criteria will be offered voluntary participation in this trial. Recruitment will be open for approximately 18 months; it is anticipated that 1-2 patients will be recruited per week until the planned sample size is met. Participants will be stratified into three groups depending on their self-reported baseline Body-image satisfaction (BIS) score and will then be randomly allocated to receive conventional dark ink or UV fluorescent tattoos using permutated block randomization (4 patients per block) to ensure balance of BIS baseline average between study arms. The investigators focus is to improve the current tattooing technique for breast cancer patients by introducing an alternate method that takes the patient's psychological perceptions of tattooing into account while first and foremost, continuing to guarantee that the current standard of accuracy in treatment delivery is maintained or improved. The investigators goal of decreasing the psychological effect of permanent radiation therapy tattoos aligns with CancerCare Manitoba's mission to improve the outcomes and quality of life for Manitobans with cancer.

View this trial on

Interested in this trial?

Print this page and take it to your doctor to discuss your eligibilty and treatment options. Only your doctor can refer you to a clinical trial.


Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society