Radiation Therapy meets Made-to-Fade Ink

Ephemeral for Radiotherapy offers new alternative to permanent tattoos.

Quick Summary
A made-to-fade alternative to permanent tattoos for use in the medical space, so we can live our lives to the fullest post-treatment.

  • Ephemeral for Radiotherapy offers proprietary made-to-fade ink designed to replace permanent tattoo ink used for marking cancer patients during treatment

  • An estimated 7.5M patients globally receive radiotherapy tattoos annually in the United States alone, requiring 2+ tattoos during treatment

  • An alternative ink that’s applied with similar method as a traditional tattoo — easy to integrate into existing medical settings

  • Fade time differs from Ephemeral studio tattoos: Ephemeral for Radiotherapy ink is designed to outlast standard 6-8 weeks of treatment without lasting forever

If you’re interested in hearing more updates about Ephemeral’s uses in the medical space, scroll to the bottom to sign up! Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to radiotherapy@ephemeral.tattoo.

About Ephemeral for Radiotherapy
In conjunction with the Henry Ford Health System, we’re proud to announce the safety and efficacy study of our newest product for use in radiation therapy treatment. Ephemeral for Radiotherapy is a made-to-fade alternative to permanent tattoos for use in the medical space. Not everybody wants a daily reminder of their treatment. Not every culture or religion celebrates permanent tattoos.

Radiotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses high energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Treated areas are marked with a small permanent tattoo to ensure therapy is delivered accurately to the same place each time while minimizing healthy tissue exposure to radiation.

While treatment periods last 6 to 8 weeks, permanent tattoos (which can only be removed by expensive and painful laser removal) have long been the standard of care for radiotherapy. Other alternatives either don’t last long enough (henna, superficial markers) and pose the risk of wearing off before treatment is complete, are ineffective for all skin types (UV or blacklight tattoos) or are not yet widely commercially viable (surface guided radiotherapy).

Ephemeral for Radiotherapy is designed to meet treatment period requirements (lasts long enough to last for the treatment period but not forever) and can be used on a variety of skin types while being cost-accessible for providers and patients. Additionally, It provides an alternative to those who are prohibited from receiving a permanent tattoo due to religious or cultural reasons, those who do not wish to have a daily reminder of their treatment or those who do not see their identities shaped by their battle with cancer. As quoted by this article:

“For me, having to have a permanent tattoo visible in the middle of my chest was not about having a permanent reminder of the cancer. It was more about being able to go back to wearing the clothes I have always worn, about going back to the gym, about sunbathing on holiday, about trips to the spa without having to worry about a radiotherapy tattoo being visible to others for questions. Sometimes, you don’t want to have to explain to inquisitive people why you have a black dot on your chest, you just want to get on with living.”

We estimate 7.5M patients globally receive radiotherapy tattoos annually in the US alone. Initial treatment requires three tattoos for most patients, while breast cancer patients typically require between four to 5 tattoos. The number of tattoos required increases in cases of re-treatment (which is true for one in 5 patients).

When Ephemeral Tattoo was founded, our goal was to create a product that would enable limitless-self expression: a tattoo that empowered us to be creative, to embrace our identity in the moment and to just have fun with, without the lifetime commitment.

We never expected that mission to extend beyond our Studios, but after receiving a steady stream of requests from radiotherapy providers, patients, and their loved ones since launch, we realized self-expression is as much as giving each of us the freedom to embrace who we are as it is giving us the power to reject who we are not.

Radiotherapy patients already have countless considerations and worries in mapping out a successful treatment journey, and the reality of an unwanted permanent tattoo is yet another added weight. Ephemeral for Radiotherapy hopefully eliminates one of those many considerations.

We’re grateful to be able to partner with an exceptional medical care provider such as Henry Ford Health System in making this possible.

Accompanying Study
Feasibility of Semi-Permanent Tattoo for Treatment Alignment in Radiation Therapy
Information Provided By:
Farzan Siddiqui, Senior Staff Physician, Henry Ford Health System
Read the full report

Published June 1, 2023

“It was very traumatic to hear that I had cancer and told at the same time that I would need permanent tattoos for the treatment… No one likes to be forced into a decision that isn't right for you, and you don't want reminders when you make it past your 5-year mark of surviving cancer”

- Debbie G., cancer survivor