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Radiotherapy skin markings

Nurse and patients talking about cancer

This page tells you about markings on your skin during radiotherapy. There is information about


Tattoo marks

Once the treatment area for radiotherapy is finalised, the radiographer will make ink markings on your skin. These show the therapy radiographer where to direct the radiation beams. You may have 2 or 3 permanent pin point tattoo marks on your skin. Often the tattoo is a small cross or a group of small dots.


Ink markings

In some hospitals you may have marks made with permanent ink pen. The staff will explain to you how to look after the markings. The section about caring for your skin has information about this.

If the marks start to rub off, tell your radiographer. Don't try to redraw them yourself. The ink marks can rub off on your clothes or when you wash. It can help to wear older clothes next to your skin during your treatment.

Photograph showing skin marking for radiotherapy

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Updated: 4 January 2013