After a mastectomy, surgery or breast reconstruction, women may feel unhappy about their scars or new body shape. For some women, getting a tattoo gives them the chance to create something beautiful, and can help them move forward after breast cancer.
These eight women felt they reclaimed their bodies with their tattoos, and found inspiration in their mastectomy tattoo designs.
1. Kerry A's iris tattoo
'I came up with the idea of a tattoo after seeing internet pictures but it took me some time to decide on a design. An Iris, my grandmother's name... It has elevated my self-esteem more than I could ever have predicted. Now, when I look down, I see a beautiful piece of art rather than a scar.' - Kerry A
2. Maureen's nature-inspired tattoo
Credit: Julia, tattoo artist at King of Hearts, London
'Maureen and her tattoo have had quite the journey... after battling breast cancer and having a double mastectomy and reconstruction, she came to me wanting a small tattoo, not too colourful to cover the scars.' - Julia, tattoo artist
3. Sue's lotus flower double mastectomy design
'My tattoo... represents my struggle with an aggressive disease and how I have been able to overcome this, growing and changing to reclaim the beauty in my life.
'I wanted to almost recreate the feeling I used to get when I wore beautiful lace underwear. Many women will be able to relate to that feeling, it gives a boost of confidence – it’s like a hidden secret, an inner smile.' - Sue
4. Holly's black and white flower tattoo
Credit: Holly Feneht, tattoo artist at Gilded Lily, USA
'Having tattoos done can be a way for women to reclaim part of their body that they have lost and felt disconnected from. It's a way to move forward with the rest of their lives on a daily basis without a reminder of scars and what they went through. It's an expression that life is beautiful.' - Holly, tattoo artist
5. Lisa's blossom design tattoo
Credit: Lisa Walker, tattoo artist at Inkabella Tattoo Studio, Wales
6. Floral breast reconstruction tattoo
Credit: David Allen, tattoo artist at Pioneer, USA
7. Liz's butterfly mastectomy scar tattoo
'I didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror. I didn’t like undressing in front of my husband, or having a shower or looking at myself.... My tattoo makes me feel so good. I’m now 76 and I think that’s wonderful, I think I’m so lucky to have it.' - Liz
8. Kerry W's beautiful mastectomy tattoo
'The tattoo was something me and my tattoo artist came up with but the hands on the clock say 22 April and that was the date of my diagnosis. It has made me feel better.' - Kerry W
Find more mastectomy tattoo inspiration on our Pinterest board.