Breast-Cancer Survivors Forego Reconstructive Surgery to Adorn Their Chests with Tattoos

Each year, “more than 296,000 American women face breast cancer,” according to, whose website offers essential information on reconstructive surgery for survivors.

Of course, with reconstructive surgery come unsightly scars. While some women choose this route, others forego reconstructive surgery altogether, instead adorning their bare chests with tattoos.

Last year, you may have heard about Facebook removing a photo of a breast cancer survivor’s large chest piece due to censors. The woman in the photograph suffered a double mastectomy and in place of the reconstructive surgery most women opt for, she chose the scene you see below — flowers, birds and animal surrounded by a Celtic chain.

breast cancer tattoos

Needless to say, Facebook later adjusted its policy, and more and more women seem to be choosing body art as an alternative to reconstructive surgery.

It’s not only a way to skip getting implants and enduring more surgeries, it’s also a way to rejoice in the victory of conquering cancer, or embracing (rather than evading) the scars left behind from their battle — both mentally and physically.

An organization called Personal Ink, or P.INK, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, provides breast-cancer survivors following their mastectomies with a Pinterest site full of images of tattoos for inspiration, as well as information about various tattoo artists. The boards also allow women and men the opportunity to share their own design ideas, personal stories and artist referrals with others.

The tattoo options available for those seeking alternatives to reconstructive surgery are endless.

Feature Image: Tattoo Artist Tina Bafaro