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.
3'Alice In Wonderland' Flora & Butterfly
The classic fairy tale might have personal significance to this survivor, but the magical art from the 1951 Walt Disney animated movie is something everyone can appreciate.
Spring's signature blooms, cherry blossoms adorn this survivor's chest, giving her a daily dose of springtime all year.
6Dragon Fly & Water Lily
While flowers seem to be a common mastectomy tattoo design, the firefly makes this design stand out.
The sweet peas and survivor ribbons commemorate two rounds of breast cancer. Talk about a warrior woman.
These plumes are not only beautifully shaded to add volume, their design is whimsical and nostalgic.
Imitating the iridescent train of a peacock's feathers, this mastectomy tattoo design is for women who aren't afraid to showcase their beauty.
This pink lily, I mean lady, employed her tattoo artist to design a vine to cover reconstruction scars. Talk about thinking pink for breast cancer awareness.
Rising from the ashes, the phoenix is known in mythology to signify regeneration and rebirth. I can't think of a better mastectomy tattoo.