/Realistic tattoos help breast cancer survivors feel whole again

Realistic tattoos help breast cancer survivors feel whole again

Updated

April 07, 2019 15:54:44

Imagine years of battling cancer, through drugs, treatments and surgery, then being faced with a daily reminder of your trauma.

Key points:

  • Breast reconstruction can leave physical and emotional scars
  • Cosmetic tattoos can help to ‘recreate’ parts of the body
  • Cosmetic tattoos can provide a boost to confidence

For many women, seeing the battle scars writ large across their chests can be one of the hardest parts of the recovery process.

Hannah Hinton was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.

The aggressive cancer spread rapidly and the mother of two young children was forced to undergo a bilateral mastectomy.

Two years of treatment and a year of reconstructive surgery left a visible toll on her body.

“It’s a struggle talking about it,” she said, barely holding back tears.

“You don’t want to be branded as having cancer, you don’t wear that badge on your sleeve.”

“But it reminds you all of the time, when you step out of the shower or you walk past a mirror you are reminded daily of the scars,” Hannah Hinton said.

While the partial breast reconstruction helped, she was still felt she was missing something.

She turned to cosmetic tattoos for three-dimensional realistic recreations of her nipples and areola.

“To look somewhat normal again and have the tattooing done, it is a massive boost to my confidence,” Ms Hinton said.

Making life whole again

More and more women are turning to cosmetic tattooing to help them recover from the mental trauma of breast cancer.

Gold Coast-based cosmetic tattoo artist Brittany Rogash, who owns Inkhanced, said it was a long and emotional journey.

“There’s often tears before they’ve even sat down,” she said.

“It’s not vanity … it’s about feeling whole again,” Brittany Rogash said.

“It’s about having something back that was once there.”

It’s a meticulous process of consultation, measuring and design and Ms Rogash has spent almost a decade honing her craft.

“Essentially I’m creating an areola that they once had or an areola that they would like to have,” Ms Rogash said.

“I map out the areolas, then choose selective colours to make the areolas look as natural as possible,” she said.

Ms Hinton said everyone’s journey was different, but this was the right choice for her.

“The scars are going to be there forever unfortunately, I can’t change that,” she said.

“Hopefully seeing the areolas done, the nipples, it will take the focus off the scarring, and help with my self-confidence.”

For Ms Rogash, that’s what it’s all about.

“I feel like they’re some of the bravest women I’ve ever met,” Ms Rogash said.

“After everything they’ve been through, the smile that’s on their face is so rewarding,” she said.

Topics:

breast-cancer,

human-interest,

visual-art,

emotions,

miami-4220

First posted

April 07, 2019 15:34:44