Some breast cancer survivors are refusing to let cancer leave the "last mark" on their bodies. For women who have lost their breasts when a mastectomy was the only treatment option, inspirational mastectomy tattoos have turned tragedy into breathtaking body art.
According to Breastcancer.org, breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States. Additionally, as the most common type of cancer to develop in women, with the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is expected to be diagnosed in approximately 246,660 women in 2016. So while women can take precautions for early intervention and be knowledgable about risk factors, the disease remains devastating. For some women mastectomies are a preventative measure, for others, mastectomies serve as treatment after battling breast cancer. In either case, a mastectomy can wreak havoc on a woman's self-esteem. After all, she's losing part of her body, and I can only imagine how terrifying that can feel. Yet breast cancer survivors, amazing warriors for battling cancer, are also popularizing a new type of tattoo that turns tragedy into beauty. While some women opt for breast reconstruction and a mastectomy tattoo, others are foregoing the reconstructive surgery and just getting inked on their chests. These 11 inspirational mastectomy tattoo designs showcase not only gorgeous ink, but stories of bravery. And that makes them all the more beautiful.