Mastectomy scar photo project | Stand Up To Cancer

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Amy Swales
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  • Joanna

    “Some women I know both personally and professionally have struggled with their body image following breast cancer surgery and treatment. I wanted to show that women can still celebrate their bodies after cancer.”  

  • Lucy

    “This project for Stand Up To Cancer shows women that the world doesn’t end because you have to have a breast removed (or both); that life can go on.”

  • Caroline

    Caroline before her second mastectomy.

  • Caroline

    “I want other women to know that having reconstruction is not the only option and I love the freedom of being flat.”

  • Gillian

    “I want to show those women who are going through their cancer journey that it is doable, not easy, but with time and acceptance you can get through it and that we are still sexy and beautiful. It’s also something I had wanted to have done, a picture to celebrate my journey and have a reminder as to how strong I proved myself to be.”

  • Anon

    “I’m proud of my scars, they mean I’m surviving and a reminder to do things when I can and not to put things off. If you get a letter for your mammogram, don’t ignore it. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t gone.”

  • Debbie W

    “By sharing my photos publicly I hope that awareness of breast cancer is raised and that no matter what scarring there is, we’re still beautiful women. I felt empowered, and thought to myself, ‘This is not something to be afraid or ashamed of but something to celebrate!’”

  • Anon

    “I want to show everyone that it’s OK to live without a boob or two. It wasn’t my choice to follow this path but I did choose to make the most of what I have and to get on with life.”

  • Fiona

    “I feel so proud of the pictures. If I manage to save just one life having taken part, then I’ve achieved something.”

  • Jan

    “I got quite emotional as I know the message these will portray to people is definitely positive and will give them hope to fight and remain positive themselves.”

  • Debbie B

    “I never wore my prosthetics as they never felt right to me. I was on holiday with my family when I saw the photos for the first time. It was profoundly emotional. I’d been very worried that I wouldn't like the images; I rarely like photos of myself. On the contrary, I loved Ami's photos. For the first time since treatment, I felt feminine and attractive. Before I saw the images, I had been struggling to put on my swimming costume. However, the images gave me the boost I needed to see myself in a more positive light. Much to the delight of the children, I was able to go swimming with them for the rest of the holiday.”

  • Sharon

    “I think we all want to feel useful and whilst going through cancer was horrific for me and those closest to me, it feels so good when you’re given the opportunity to do something positive with that experience.”

  • Mel

    “I’m so proud to be part of this project. Stand Up To Cancer is all about sticking two fingers up at cancer and I think Ami’s captured that beautifully. I wanted to be part of it partly because, when it comes to new experiences, the word ‘no’ is no longer in my vocabulary. Since having cancer I want to embrace every opportunity that comes my way and really live life to the max. But I also want to demystify mastectomy scars. I’m still a woman and I wanted to show that breasts do not define my sexuality or gender. I’m still me despite having a part of my body missing.”

  • Clare

    “I wanted to get involved to help raise awareness of breast cancer, and to show that choosing to live flat is a positive choice.”

  • Anon

    “By taking part in this project for Stand Up To Cancer, I hope people will see beyond our surgeries. We’re still perfectly normal people that have families, jobs and live the best life that we can.”

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.