Breast Cancer Survivor Tattoos

January 14, 2015

Recently, I have taken the time to scroll through the hundreds of photos of  post-mastectomy/reconstruction tattoos that women have been creatively designing. Interestingly enough, not only are survivors receiving 3-D areola’s in flesh-colored tones that look incredibly realistic; but they are also getting intricate designs of flowers, pink ribbons, birds, the list goes on.

Sometimes women will place the tattoos strategically on their reconstructed breast to cover any scarring that might linger. Other times, women will receive large tattoos that take up their entire chest rather than getting reconstructive surgery at all.

In the case of Tara Dunsmore, founder of Pink Ink Tattoo, she was a breast cancer survivor herself that became frustrated when the only options for areola tattoos were unrealistic looking. She set out, as a nurse, to create an incredibly detailed 3-D tattoo so that breast cancer survivors can reclaim the nipples they had before the cancer. To see photos of Tara’s work, check out her website.

Vinnie Myers’ tattoo shop, “Little Vinnies,” is another store dedicated to assisting breast cancer survivors. Not only is Vinnie experienced in nipple/areola tattoos, but he has also experienced tattooing other shapes onto survivors’ reconstructed breasts including nipple rings and even shamrocks! Too look through Vinnie’s portfolio, visit Little Vinnie’s website. has recently published a new app, cleverly titled, “Inkspiration.” According to the article, the app allows women to choose from different breast types, view various tattoos on their chosen breast type and then locate a tattoo artist. To read more, visit this article.

It seems to me that no matter which kind of tattoo breast cancer survivors choose, all tattoos seem to be part of the healing process for these women. Getting the tattoo in a place to cover the scar or to purposefully leave it visible seems to be empowering to the women receiving them. If you’re interested in viewing designs that survivors have received you can follow the links below:



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UBCF is committed to offering breast health and wellness services focused on cancer prevention, screening, treatment and overall wellness. UBCF’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer and carries it out through seven life-supporting patient and family programs available to women, men and families nationwide. UBCF never denies services to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, income or medical insurance coverage. Tax-deductible contributions may be made towards UBCF’s programs. UBCF accepts vehicle and property donations as well. Combined Federal Campaign #77934

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