"Mastectomy" is the medical term for the surgical removal of either one or both breasts. It can be done partially or completely, removing or not the nipples too. Although it is most commonly done as a treatment for breast cancer, some women who might have a family history of breast cancer or a genetic disposition (carriers of BRCA gene, for example) choose to do it as a preventive measure. Celebrity Angelina Jolie did much to bring this subject to public awareness when she opted to do bilateral (both sides) mastectomy due to being carrier of the gene.
What is little known is that a person who has had complete mastectomy (including removal of nipples) due to cancer treatment does not become perfectly flat-chested. Depending on the person, the mastectomy in most cases forms a sort of long scar on both sides of the chest, which can cause a deformation. This can minimized by plastic surgery, however, in this case, nipples are entirely removed and need to be reconstructed again or tatooed.
The Scar Project is a series of very strong and emotional portraits shot by photographer David Jay, showing young breast cancer survivors with their REAL SCARS.
When the surgery is elected as preventive measure (that is, the person does not have cancer, but yet a predisposition), then the nipples can be saved.
Read more about Mastectomy at Wikipedia.
"Mastectomy" - Pen over paper
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