Life Without Breast. A New Tribe of Scarred Breast Cancer Heroes

mastectomy 4“Breast cancer is not a Pink Ribbon”. Please say that out loud and tell it to your friends”BREAST CANCER IS NOT A PINK RIBBON”. The diagnosis of breast cancer is a chilling experience not only to the sufferers themselves but also the families and friends around them.  The attention breast cancer get is high yet not high enough that we need to not only talk about the pink ribbons but also address what breast cancer treatment is all about. It’s time to take the bull by its horns!

Scar 1Breast is the greatest symbol of femininity in all mammals. In many mammals, the only way to tell the physical difference between a male and a female is the mammary glands AKA breast, or udder in four-legged animals.  Breast cancer specifically affects the greatest symbol of femininity tearing down and shattering many women definition of beauty. Cancer treatment, even worse takes away the most prominent feminine features of human beings like hair, eye lashes, breast, skin and nails.

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy in breast cancer treatment is not only physically painful but also emotionally and sexually destructive. Women value breast as one of their strongest attraction points for men. This explains why we spend billions of dollars every year to augment breast so as to look “HOT” and appealing to men

I was searching Google on breast cancer survival stories and I noticed that very few stories talk about the emotional pain women go through during their breast cancer fight. Very few breast cancer survival stories address the issue of mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries that only happen to well insured and those whose condition allows.

mastectomy 5I came across the SCAR project by David Jay, a fashion photographer who has committed his photography into re-empowering women after mastectomy. David is a true hero to me because as a man, he has taken the greatest stigma of feminine beauty and used it to show breast cancer survivors that they can be beautiful even after breast cancer surgery

mastectomy 6Breasts are normally obscured in non-pornographic photography/media but David defied the norms and used his photography to show how women look after mastectomy. Rather than demoralizing, David’s photography is empowering and creating a new tribe where the world will view breast differently.

In many situations total radical mastectomy needs to be done to save breast cancer sufferer life. In some occasions, even reconstruction may not be possible. David Jay’s scar project has proven against the normal expectations that by photographing women for the scar project is not only helping women regain the courage, confidence and positive view of their femininity and sexuality but also empowering the public to view them as beautiful again.


scar2To me, these SCAR project pictures show a new shift in society’s acceptance of a tribe of scarred, breastless and one breasted women. It is a high time we start accepting SCARRED women are just as beautiful since 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. This new tribe inspired by David is growing and will at some point in future became the norm, just the same way we no longer see pregnant women as unattractive. This exposure will help women to accept what we might not be able to change. Perhaps fashion designers will soon start making bras for women with one breast and accept them as “normal.” What if not having breasts or having one breast became acceptable? What if mastectomies and scarred breast are seen as a symbol of honor and strength? What if the society could tone down the breast obsession with breasts just a little bit and appreciate David work on SCAR project for pioneering the new “normal” for breast cancer fighters and survivors?

Share this article on Facebook to appreciate David Jay’s Work.

Please check out the SCAR Project at for more photos and information.


  1. I am honored as a breastless lady that it is becoming OK in our “DAY”. It sure made it easier to make that HUGE decision and be comfortable with it when I had to do it. Cancer is scarey enough without having to deal with social stigma.

  2. Anna Rae says

    I am wondering if the writer had breast cancer? I did, twice. Generally speaking, I could identify with what was written. Breasts did not make me a woman and absence of a breast does not make me less desirable as a woman. I loved being bald. I never had or wanted painted, talon finger nails. I have always been and will continue to be a beautiful woman in the truest sense. Emotionally speaking, there is fear of recurrence, of not surviving, and of leaving the people who love me to grieve my passing.

    • I share all of your feelings, Anna Rae. I did not have to go through it twice like you, but otherwise I identify with you. I still get moments of fear of recurrence. That is what I’d like to conquer next.
      I went through the first months not being able to look down at myself to now being fine with my scars. It tells me I can battle dreadful things and come through with pride in my strength.

  3. @ Anna, take heart. The uncertainity after remission is tourturous but taking one day at a time and enjoying every moment with those that loves and matters to you is very rewarding. This article made me cry like a baby for hours. I am a man and I do not have breast cancer, nor anyone in the immediate family but looking at these women reminded me of how fragile life is.

    • Anna Rae says

      Thank you Greg. May 2010 stage 0 BC, unilateral mastectomy, July 2010 my daughter Joanna passed away, November 2010 swollen lymph nodes, January 2011 stage 3C BC,.. I am learning Mindfulness so that I begin to thrive in my survival. Today, this moment, this second is all any of us have. July 30th is 2 days away… ❤

      • says

        Take heart Anna. Sometimes you run out of words to tell someone in pain. That’s all I can say. You must have gone through a lot. Life is not fair and sometimes, all we can do is to hang on to faith and hope.
        Be blessed

  4. Allan M. Bedashi says

    For the Lady who Lost her Breasts
    (based on a true story)

    By Allan M. Bedashi

    What steely knife in deft hands,
    would dare to cleave in
    maiden’s fair and tender breasts?
    What cold, edacious blade would so impale in glee?
    Should ample-breasted ladies mow be ectomorphic boys?
    Should lover’s hands be denied the touch of wondrous flesh?
    And should nipples now cease to excite?
    Should lovely maiden’s head now bow in shame,
    for lack of what was proudly borne before?
    Should she be denied the bounty that was heaven sent,
    and now is plucked and taken from her chest?
    O! Cancer, hide your wicked face;
    turn away and flee in thy disgrace,
    now penitent for the beauty which you take.

    (Mrs. X lost both of her breasts to cancer in operating room #9 and she was only 38 years old.)

    Copyright…Allan M. Bedashi


  1. […] stress. Women should be supported and encouraged to engage in sex. It’s time the world accepted breastless and scarred breasted women as normal. Sex is a good communication tool for lovers and it should be addressed without shame or […]

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