Many women diagnosed with breast cancer that undergo a mastectomy are left with scars that are a daily reminder of the struggle that they faced. Some women, however, are choosing to cover those scars with beautiful tattoos.
In the U.S. alone, there are 2.6 million breast cancer survivors. For those that have a mastectomy, 56 percent are left with scars. Since there are so few resources available for women that have breast cancer and want to do something different after reconstruction, Personal Ink was founded.
About Personal Ink
Personal Ink, or P. INK, helps connect women who have undergone breast cancer and reconstruction with tattoo artists, many of which donate the tattoos. Since P.INK was launched, breast cancer survivors from around the nation and the world have shared their stories and plans for getting tattoos. Placing a tattoo over a scar is a healing process for many, and it allows them to get back the control that they have not had for some time.
P.INK created a Pinterest account where breast cancer survivors and tattoo artists can interact. The organization believes that using Pinterest rather than a typical website gives them a better environment to present a visual narrative about their objectives.
Noel Franus began this project in Boulder after his sister-in-law Molly Ortwein was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before cancer, Molly was a healthy woman who ate organically, exercised regularly, and did not smoke, so her diagnosis came as a shock to her and her loved ones.
Molly documents her experience in a video, which shows her getting a seven-hour tattoo performed by Miami-based artist Colby Butler over her mastectomy scars. Ortwein said that she is the last person you would expect to get a tattoo, but that the process allowed her to move forward with confidence after her surgery.
Are You Considering Breast Reconstruction?
If you have undergone a mastectomy and have been considering breast reconstruction, it is important to remember that the decision to have this procedure is yours, and yours alone. Also, finding a doctor you can trust, and one you can freely discuss the results with if you are not happy, is critical. If you would like to know more about breast reconstructive surgery, set up a consultation at Boulder Plastic Surgery by calling (303) 578-4193.