Tattooed Woman
A woman's old tattoo ink was misdiagnosed by medical professionals as lymphoma, pictured March 14, 2015 is a tattoo artist working during the Female Artists Tattoo Convention in Rome. Getty Images

A woman discovered old tattoo ink was misdiagnosed by a team of Australian doctors as cancer Monday, according to reports. The medical professionals initially determined that the patient suffered from lymphoma but acknowledged their mistake following a microscopic examination of the woman's enlargened lymph node.

The medical team cited the case in a report published Monday in the journal "Annals of Internal Medicine." The report described the 30-year-old woman's tattoo pigment–induced lymphadenopathy, which is said to have "mimicked the clinical and radiologic features of lymphoma." The lymph node the lymph node had tattoo ink on it from 15 years prior.

The patient performed a self-examination after discovering small lumps forming under her arm over a two-week period. She didn't possess any of the symptoms associated with lymphoma sufferers, including weight loss and night sweats. Her medical history included frequent cluster headaches, an absence of tobacco use, a breast augmentation procedure and the use of an oral contraceptive pill.

The women had a large black-ink tattoo on her back for 15 years, and an additional black-ink tattoo on her left shoulder for two and a half years. Her doctors have been unable to determine the reason for her condition.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100, (this) will be lymphoma," Dr. Christian Bryant, a hematologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and the woman's doctor, told CNN Tuesday. "I think there's absolutely no way to know how common it is. Most people who have tattoos have absolutely no problems."

Tattoos are more popular than ever, but it's not a new practice. Tattoo safety and health regulations predominantly target the short-term repercussions. The long-term effects, however, are more difficult to know for certain.

"There is no proof that these ink ingredients are safe, being injected into the body," Dr. Andreas Luch, who works with the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin, told Reuters in 2015. "We need to assume that all of these ink ingredients, including preservatives, processing aids or whatever, will become systemically available in the body over time. Regulation based on cosmetics is insufficient."

A study published September in "Scientific Reports" suggested that tattoo fanatics should proceed with caution when obtaining ink. The study examined the long-term effects of tattoo ink, which is made up of both organic and inorganic pigments.

"We report strong evidence for both migration and long-term deposition of toxic elements and tattoo pigments as well as for conformational alterations of biomolecules that likely contribute to cutaneous inflammation and other adversities upon tattooing," the study's researchers concluded.

"Although research is ongoing at FDA and elsewhere, there are still a lot of questions about the long-term effects of the pigments, other ingredients, and possible contaminants in tattoo inks," the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) wrote on its website. "FDA has received reports of bad reactions to tattoo inks right after tattooing and even years later."

The FDA added, "You also might become allergic to other products, such as hair dyes, if your tattoo contains p-phenylenediamene (PPD)."