Instagram is where many of us go to explore the latest tattoo trends or daydream about getting our next ink. But this month, you might have noticed that more artists and people are sharing and celebrating photos of their mastectomy tattoos on the platform. For people with breast cancer who have a mastectomy, which is the removal of the whole breast and often the nipple, tattoos are a personal way to honour their scars and re-imagine what their breasts can look like.
According to a representative at Instagram, there have been over 600k posts tagged about breast cancer awareness in this month alone, many of which feature mastectomy tattoos. Considering this year an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States, there are definitely more people on the platform who have been affected by breast cancer in some way.
Some mastectomy tattoos are sweeping, elaborate, and intricate, while others are more subtle nods to the person's experience. The options for mastectomy tattoos are limitless, but ahead are some that are inspiring us this year.