Breast Cancer-Inspired Tattoos
Getting a breast cancer tattoo—whether it’s for you or in honor of someone you love—is a way to show solidarity in the face of this disease. Click through the slideshow to see breast cancer tattoos and the stories behind them. You’ll find inspiration, hope, and the strength that comes from knowing you’re united with so many women you’ll never meet, but who know how you feel and what you’ve gone through.
Mother Like Daughter
Mom always told me, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I'm like my mother after all.” She died when I was a teen, but she's right. I am.
I got this tattoo in honor of both of my grandmothers. One lost her battle with breast cancer on January 10, 2013. The other is still fighting it.
I was motivated to get this tattoo because I wanted to show respect for my grandmother who passed away and support for my grandmother who’s still hanging on.
— Bri Marchbanks
My sister and I got this tattoo on November 11, 2011 in support of my breast cancer diagnosis. My grandmother died two years ago from it and I had a double breast mastectomy last year.
Inspiration Amidst the Struggle
When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my world was turned upside down. My tattoo is a constant reminder of her struggle and the inspiration she gives me. As a 20-year-old, this experience gives me more appreciation for and a new outlook on life.
My Mother the Warrior
My mom had stage IV breast cancer in 2003 I was 13 years old and had to have her right breast removed. The doctor also removed some lymph nodes to check them. Thank God he did, because every one that he took out was cancerous. She had to undergo the strongest chemo treatments for a year.
Ten years before my mom got breast cancer, she had stage III ovarian cancer. This year, we were scared she was going to get another kind of cancer, because it seems like she gets it every 10 years. But she's clear of any. I got this tattoo in honor of my strong mother fighting breast cancer and winning the battle.
This is my niece’s tattoo, my sister Sonya's daughter. Both of her daughters got the same tattoo, which they designed themselves, in honor of their mom's breast cancer survival. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. She is now seven years cancer-free! They believe there is no one stronger than their Mom.
A Reminder of Perseverance
I didn't think I would make it at times, but I did. I got this tattoo in March of 2013, on the one-year anniversary of my diagnosis date.
Faith and Love
Stage III double mastectomy. For me, cancer was this horrible thing at first (which the thick thorns signify), but it turned into something else. Not a great thing, but it made me different.
The vine on my tattoo is a sweet pea butterfly vine, the butterfly signifying transformation. The ugly thorns are coming out of my left side where the cancer was. The vine wraps around a key hanging on a pink ribbon. The teeth on the key are a heart and a cross signifying that faith and love are the keys to overcoming any obstacle.
Keep Fighting and Believing
I’m 17 years old and my aunt, who is my best friend, has stage IV breast cancer. My mom has skin cancer. That’s why I got the pink and black ribbons. I’ve been supporting my aunt and mom since day one and got this tattoo for them.
All cancer patients need to keep fighting and keep believing!
My mom and I both have this tattoo on our calves. She has had breast cancer twice, the first time in 2002, and the second time in 2009. The second time she had a double mastectomy.
The Native American tribe of our ancestry receives a feather for every battle that they overcome, so we got two feathers on the ribbon—one for each time she beat cancer.
My mom’s the strongest woman I know, and by far my greatest role model in life.
Fight Like a Girl
I have a tattoo in honor of my daughter-in-law, Sarah. She is amazing. She has three small children under the age of five and one is autistic. While she fights this disease, she also fights for the best programs for her autistic child.
The “survivor” and year is for me, and the four names are those of my aunts who had breast cancer and have since passed.
Sisters Against Cancer
This is a collage of cancer awareness colors with breast cancer being the focus. I and three other ladies have this tattoo because we all fought through breast cancer together, even though only one of us had it. They are my sisters and forever friends.
I Carry You With Me
May 22, 2007 is the day the doctor told my grandma she had breast cancer. I was 13 years old. I didn't know what to do: I was afraid of her, and I didn't want God to take her. I cried for days.
She stayed strong, even on her weakest days, and conquered cancer. My grandma is my hero, my inspiration. With this tattoo, I take a little bit of her—and all those who are or were up against the same battle—everywhere I go.
No Hope Is Not an Option
My sister Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Even though she had radiation treatment, the cancer returned. She had reconstructive surgery twice. Then her cancer came back a third time in 2012, leading to more surgery and more chemo with no change.
I love Laura with all my heart and will do anything to help her. We’ve been very close most of our lives. Like any sisters, we’ve had our differences. Our lives have taken us in different directions at times. But we’ve always managed to overcome our problems and have grown closer because of them. She is my best friend. I will not accept the idea of no hope for her.
Ninjas Are Cool; Cancer Blows
My breast cancer tattoo was drawn by my daughter, Katie Helson, as the logo for my Run for the Cure team, Sock Monkey and the Pink Ninjas.
As a martial artist with two black belts and cancer survivor since 2008, to me this represents the joy and humor we need to have to get through the treatment. Ninjas are cool. Cancer blows.