Any form of cancer is a terrible thing and even though breast cancer is one of the least deadly in this day and age, it still has a lasting effect on those who are suffering from it, or in recovery.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month across the world, where people come together to raise funds for support, treatment, and research. There is a rising trend in women (and men) choosing to add tattoos to their chest to turn what is an ugly experience into something beautiful. We applaud their bravery and choice to take back control of their body.
Below is a list of tattoo ideas for those who want to support breast cancer patients and survivors, and for those looking for breast cancer scar tattoo ideas and inspiration.
Breast Cancer Tattoos
21. Tattoos of Honor
One of the most prevalent images when it comes to breast cancer tattoos is that of a pink ribbon. This is because pink is the color assigned to breast cancer. Each colored ribbon is for a separate cause. Many people will get the pink ribbon tattoos, not just those who suffer from the disease, but also those who have family or friends with the disease. This chest tattoo is a ribbon and flower, with the ribbon breaking into heart shaped petals.
20. Battle Flag
The pink ribbon is much more than just that. Those who choose it as their breast cancer tattoos find ways to incorporate it into other things they enjoy. The ribbon is versatile enough to be used in a number of different designs, much like this wonderful battle flag being held up by plastic army man toys. This is a great piece.
19. Infinity Strength
The infinity symbol is one used in a lot of tattoos, some would probably say that it is used too much. However, this infinity symbol is really a pink ribbon in disguise. Lay it on the side and it becomes that infinity symbol we see so often. The real message here is that strength is infinite, especially in those who are fighting cancer. They are often much stronger than anyone realizes, even themselves. That is surprising to everyone.
18. All Sewn Up
One of the most common aspects of breast cancer is the mastectomy. These are hard. Very hard. You live with a part of your body since the age of puberty, then all of a sudden they take it away. It’s gone. It is not just a matter of vanity, it’s your identity in some ways. In order to cover the scars and make sufferers of this procedure feel beautiful again, many women opt for tattooing the area. This woman chose this awesome pink ribbon lace up across the scar keeping her held together. As breast cancer tattoos go, this is a pretty clever one. We love it!
People who battle disease and sickness are often called fighters or warriors. This tattoos represents that with the addition of a pair of boxing gloves to the pink ribbon. The visual is spot on and a clear reminder of the battle that raged while this insidious disease tried to ravage her body.
16. Only Good Dreams
There are a couple of different ways in which the dreamcatcher works. It is said that the netting allows the bad dreams to pass through and retains only the good dreams for the sleeper. The same thing works in reverse, the net catches the bad dreams, allowing the good dreams to pass to the dreamer. Either way, using one of these incredibly popular dreamcatcher tattoos along with the pink ribbon is a way to not only show support but also probably heritage. They are a First Nations symbol after all.
15. White Hot
White ink tattoos are enjoying a bit of popularity lately. You rarely see them linked up with other styles though, and that is what makes this breast cancer tattoo stand out. Because the word ‘strength’ is inked in white, the hot pink of the ribbon really pops, making it the focal point of this piece. The word ‘strength’ is also another nod to the fight against cancer.
14. Gone Country
Breast cancer is an indiscriminate disease, much like any other sickness. It can strike anyone at any time. This large pink ribbon is styled with Mossy Oak cammo, giving it a very country feel. What is best about this tattoo is simply that it is so well done, I had to include it here. It is a very nice piece.
13. Tribal Beauty
Sometimes the mastectomy is only on one side. Many people will feel ugly after such a surgery, they may feel as though their body is deformed in some way. This is in part due to the lack of nipple on the breast and partly due to the scarring from surgery. No surgery scar is the same, but they can all bring feelings sadness, loss, or inadequacy. What better way to combat that than with a beautiful, meaningful tattoo like this sweeping tribal design? It is stunning.
12. Fly Free
A common theme in feather tattoos is that of the feather breaking off into birds and flying away, released and free. I can’t help but feel that when that image is paired with breast cancer tattoos, like this ribbon, it means that the person did not survive the fight. I could be way off base and totally wrong, but if I’m right, it think it is a very beautiful tribute.
11. Time Heals
I admit to having no idea what this says, but the imagery is powerful to me. I love the clock and I wonder what the time of 3:54 is meant to represent. No matter what it is, this tattoo is beautifully well done and the subdued pink hues in it are lovely to look at.
10. Chest Piece
When in battle, there is generally some sort of armor worn. This woman is well equipped with hers. The Celtic work and forest creature design meld together to make a beautiful piece of art. Tattoos like this are inspirational, I hope this breast cancer tattoo gives this women a feeling of wholeness. The colors in this one are magnificent! I love it so much.
I included this cute little tattoo for a very serious reason. Yes, the ribbon has nipples on the end. The reason I chose this one is because there are rules about what can and cannot be posted on our sites, but I wanted to bring up the wonderful artistry that is tattooed nipples. This is one version, of course, but there are artists out there that can ink realistic looking nipples and will do these for free a lot of times. These artists perform these awesome works of art simply so a woman can feel whole and not be afraid to be naked. It is important for her mental well being. Sometimes the littlest things make the biggest impact. Go find a few of these online, they are wonderful tattoos. I salute the artists that make those happen.
Limited Time Offer (click photo)
Breast cancer tattoos come in all sorts of styles. Well, of course, nearly all tattoos do, but bear with me here. This tattoo takes some very classic tattoo elements, the anchor tattoo and the rose tattoo, incorporates the ubiquitous pink ribbon and spreads it across her chest, making a wonderfully beautiful piece of art. The lack of color in this really makes the ribbon stand out, but the way it is wrapped around the anchor doesn’t pull any attention away from the rest of this lovely piece.
7. Trailing Vines
Breast cancer tattoos are meant to take something that a person is sad about or hateful toward and make it beautiful. Mission accomplished. This lovely trailing vine and large purple flowers is a beauty to behold. I love the added triangle. The triangle is a powerful symbol and the number three that is associated with it has several different meanings. I wish I knew the exact meaning behind this one, but no matter. This tattoo is simply beautiful.
Believe it or not, men get breast cancer too. That’s right, it isn’t just all about the boobies. I do admit that it is less rare for a male to be diagnosed, but it does happen. This is the result of a male mastectomy. This man chose to cover his entire torso with this wonderfully rendered Asian dragon and it effectively draws attention away from the deformed side of his chest. This is certainly the manliest of the breast cancer tattoos we will see today.
5. Dear Father
Again, men are also affected. What I love about this ribbon is that it isn’t just the traditional pink, but one side of it is done in blue because the sufferer is a male. It is important to show support to all those affected by this disease, not just the glorified, large busted women.
4. Cat Lady
Okay, I admit that I just put this one in here because I love cats. But, really, it’s a pretty cool tattoo, with the black cats and the moon. The black swirls and flowers tie it all together. It really is an interesting tattoo and that is why I had to have it here.
Nipple shields are traditionally jewelry, but we are bucking all traditions today. These breast cancer tattoos are basically inked nipple shields and I LOVE them. There is no shortage of flower tattoos on the internet and each one is unique, but these might be my favorite. The colors are vibrant and fun and they give the looker something to really see. I just enjoy the hell out of these.
2. Traveling Sleeve
Pink is used, as we have seen, so very often in breast cancer tattoos. It is usually used in the ribbon, as we have also noted a number of times in this article. However, using pink in other parts of the tattoo is equally as meaningful. Here the half sleeve is carried over, through flowers and leaves, onto the breast, ending in a nipple like swirl on the end. It is a wonderful illusion and I really just dig how well done this tattoo is. It is one of my favorites of the group.
1. Temp is Cool
Let’s face it. Tattoos aren’t for everyone. That’s okay, it’s our differences that make us interesting. However, there is a way that cancer patients can have a little fun and show their strength and spirits without leaving a permanent mark on their bodies. These awesome henna works are often called cancer crowns. They go on the patients bald head to create something beautiful where their hair used to be. The ink is really more of a stain that will eventually come off, but in the mean time, they head is not left as a blank slate. I think these are awesome and just as cute as the headscarves women usually use to cover up.
Limited Time Offer (click photo)