Watch: Kiwis urged to watch their tattoos after Australian woman develops cancer-like symptoms

A 15-year-old back tattoo is being blamed for a woman's cancer-like symptoms. 

Large, dark lumps were found under the armpits of a 30-year-old Australian woman, which doctors suspected looked like lymphoma.

Dunedin gastroenterologist Dr Steve Johnson explains the risks and Auckland tattooist Te Kanawa Ngarotata says hygiene is required. Source: 1 NEWS

In fact, it was a reaction with black tattoo ink.

Doctors at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney removed the lymph node from her armpit and found a cluster of cells filled with black pigment.

Some tattoos can cause infections more than a decade after being inked. Source: 1 NEWS

They said the case highlights "the importance of a careful tattoo history and physical examination for cases of lymphadenopathy".

Dunedin gastroenterologist Dr Steve Johnson said it was not common, but it has been reported for a number of years. 

"You can get localised swelling, granulomas, or little nodules over your tattoo site. Or you can develop these enlarged lymph nodes," he said.

"Considering the number of people who get tattoos, this is actually a fairly rare complication."

New Zealand is one of the most-inked nations in the world, with one in five Kiwis having a tattoo.

It's a piece of art, so you have to look after it - Te Kanawa Ngarotata, Auckland tattoo artist

Health risks usually involved infection around the time of tattooing, or complications involving the dye or ink, Dr Johnson said.

Te Kanawa Ngarotata, a tattoo artist at Otautahi Tattoo on Auckland's Karangahape Rd, told 1 NEWS health and safety is a key component of the procedure.

"Because you're opening up skin, it's similar to surgery. There are a lot of things that could happen, so it's better just to avoid [it] by being sterile, not cross-contaminating," he said.

"[After tattooing] we'll sit people down, talk to them to let them know you can't have their tattoo submerged underwater.

"A lot of anti-bacterial creams are used. Some people recommend you keep it clean and moist. It's up to the tattooist to let the person know."

Different types of tattoos could require a more attention, he said.

"Moko is a lot of line work, it's heavy details. It requires a different sort of after-care.

"It's a piece of art, so you have to look after it."



Another 94 kids killed since Nia Glassie - so what's changed? Ex-Women's Refuge boss asks hard question at Moko inquest

In impassioned submissions at the inquest into the death of Taupo toddler Moko Rangitoheriri today, a former national Women's Refuge chief has demanded to know what's changed since a similar case a decade ago.

Presiding Coroner Wallace Bain replied: "Sadly, not a lot."

The Coroner has already compared the three-year-old's death to one of country's worst child abuse cases.
Source: 1 NEWS

He was hearing from Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, who also gave evidence at the inquest into the death of Nia Glassie 10 years ago - another battered infant who died at the hands of caregivers.

Family violence campaigner Ms Raukawa-Tait told the inquest she understood while some of the recommendations made after that probe had been implemented, there hadn't been major change.

She also acknowledged the recent establishment of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, but said it was the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Hoani Jeremy Lambert from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children spoke with Seven Sharp. Source: Seven Sharp

"We should be putting some of those dollars [that go to the Ministry] into the front end and work with the families," she said.

Moko died at Taupo in August, 2015, after being severely beaten by caregivers Talia Shailer and David Haerewa.

Pippa Wetzell says she doesn't believe the sentencing of Moko's killers will be a deterrent for other child abusers. Source: Seven Sharp

Both are serving 17-year jail terms for the three-year-old's manslaughter.

The inquest, which began with two days in August, resumed in Rotorua on Tuesday for expert evidence to be heard.

Paediatrician Johan Morreau described being seriously disturbed by the violence Moko suffered.

Nicola Dally-Paki read a statement to the court at the sentencing of her son's killers. Source: 1 NEWS

"In my career I've not seen a comparable case."

He said New Zealand had allowed its standards of support and care for children to fail.

Reporter Anna Burns-Francis has the latest from the High Court in Rotorua. Source: 1 NEWS

The ministry's Bay of Plenty regional manager, Tayelva Petley, and Detective Inspector Mark Loper gave evidence of changes made by both organisations since Nia's death

Inspector Loper told the court there'd been 94 New Zealand homicides involving children between 2007 and 2015.

He emphasised a cultural shift in police practice since Nia's death with staff now looking at the needs of the victim, their family and home environment.

Ms Petley outlined a raft of changes made within the Ministry since Moko's death.

She said the Taupo organisation overseeing Moko and Shailer had relinquished its contract and a new family support provider appointed.

The inquest opened with a minute's silence for Moko.

Nia Glassie Source: 1 NEWS


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Five arrested in Rotorua double homicide case

Rotorua Police have today arrested five men over the deaths of Raymond Fleet and his nephew, James.

Raymond Fleet, 51, and James Fleet 25, were reported missing on August 10, 2017.
Raymond Fleet, 51, and James Fleet 25, were reported missing on August 10, 2017. Source: Supplied

Raymond, 51, and James, 25, were reported missing on August 10 2017.

A double homicide investigation was launched following the discovery of their bodies in Mamaku Forest on August 17, 2017.

The five accused are facing numerous charges ranging from murder, manslaughter, accessory after the fact of murder, manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of substances, materials and equipment with intent.

Four men, aged 34, 29, 26 and 21, are due to appear in Rotorua District Court tomorrow. The fifth accused, a 26-year-old, will appear in Whakatane District Court tomorrow.




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