Tagged: cancer

Lucy Thompson: Breast Cancer Survivors & Tattoos

27-year-old tattooist Lucy Thompson based in at Skinflicted in Keighley, Yorkshire, has travelled to the US to learn how to create realistic three-dimensional tattooed nipples for women who have had a mastectomy…


Last year Lucy travelled to Texas to be the first UK artist to receive specialist training in the art of tattooing realistic areolas on breast cancer patients. It was her aim to shake up the industry and illustrate to breast cancer survivors that “they deserve better” when it comes to post op cosmetic reconstruction.

My Auntie had a mastectomy and got a tattoo done in hospital which has now faded to almost nothing so it needs re-doing – why is a surgeon even attempting to tattoo?-  the experts should stick to what they know. This just isn’t good enough for a cancer surviver.

Lucy trained with The House of A.R.T (Areola Restorative Tattooing) in Texas, who have pioneered a unique way to give the illusion of a permanent and three-dimensional nipple opposed to other methods. Having learnt this skill Lucy is now offering this restorative service to mastectomy clients locally,  the first being her auntie.

Lucy Thompson
Lucy, who’s been a tattoo artist for the last four years explains what influenced her to help cancer survivors:

After the trauma of going through cancer, I want to make the restorative period as stress free as possible and help women feel whole again. Why should they have to return for future treatment when it can be done in one process? Women are accepting second best as there has never been another option, but not many cosmetic tattooers have experience or have dealt with scarred tissue, especially tissue that has been through chemotherapy or has radiation burns or stretch marks from skin grafts – this is a huge concern. A tattoo artist understands the skin in a different way. We want to achieve painterly results  and have the techniques to work with the skin and its delicacies to get the best possible results – the quality is of utmost importance.


Lucy  is also offering tattoos to any trans/non-binary clients who have had surgery and unsuccessful  nipple grafts. Her long-term plan is to open a clinic specifically for post medical treatment. She also plans to run drop in clinics throughout the country by travelling the UK visiting other studios, to enable others further afield than Yorkshire to benefit from the skills she has learnt.

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You’re Not Ovaryacting…


…That’s the message The Robin Cancer Trust is telling ladies in its latest campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. The Robin Cancer Trust was founded to increase awareness of germ cell cancers, including ovarian and testicular cancers, following the death of Robin Freeman, 24, of Wivenhoe, after his battle with germ cell cancer.

The charity teamed up with local companies including Flaming Gun Tattoo Studio, Racket Video and Joli Studies to create a social media campaign. Through the colourful use of tattoo-style imagery and video, they want to highlight the symptoms of ovarian cancer that should not be ignored.

5. YoureNotOvaryActing_NeedToPee

Claire Neal, Trustee of The Robin Cancer Trust, explained how she “wanted to do something different for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, in March this year and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get creative. We hope this fun and engaging campaign will raise awareness in young woman as ovarian cancer is not a silent killer if the symptoms can be recognised early.”

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We chatted to tattooist Julie Clarke who works at Flaming Gun Tattoo in Colchester to find out how she got involved with the project and what it meant to her…

When the opportunity came to get more involved with the ovarian cancer campaign myself and fellow tattooist Alex Bach jumped at the chance. I am now two years clear from my surgery, and I would not have been so lucky if I did not regularly go to my GP for smear tests or to question any abnormal symptoms, so I can not stress enough, if you’re concerned get it checked out!

2. YoureNotOvaryActing_Fullness

The “you’re not ovaryacting” campaign was such a wonderful way of promoting awareness of the possible symptoms.  In the studio, we tattoo some wonderful people who have survived cancer and their family members too. It is a real pleasure to be part of the recovery process, either through covering scars, nipple tattooing, or unfortunately creating memorial tattoos. Cancer affects so many people and every type is worth consideration.

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Specifically with this project, creating the artwork to coordinate with the symptoms was a challenge, but with my colleagues Alex Bach and Toby Freeman, we managed to create the images you now see on the models. The models Tiffany Leather, Natasha Connor, Danielle Robinson, Charlie Newell and Josie Rackley looked amazing, and Racket Video and Joli Studies did a wonderful job of super-imposing our artwork onto them. We can’t believe how realistic they look!

To find out more visit www.therobincancertrust.org.

Sarcoma and You photographic portrait series

A poll of the general public revealed that 53% of people have never heard of sarcoma and only 26% knew it was a cancer. Our editor Alice Snape has been working on a very special online photographic exhibition ‘Sarcoma and You’ to raise awareness about this rare cancer of the bone and soft tissue.

Each portrait in the Sarcoma and You series captures the effects of sarcoma cancer and body image, featuring some of the sarcoma community. #sarcomaandyou
Instagram : Sarcoma and you
Photos by Alison Romanczuk / Words by Alice Snape

Pippa pregnant

“Having cancer never made me hate my body, but having a baby has truly made me realise how amazing it is – it has fought my sarcoma and grown a mini human!”

Pippa Hatch, 21, Reading, Marketing Manager


Jordan scar

“People should be proud of the scars they wear – no one should ever feel ashamed”

Jordan Anderton, 22, fundraising manager, Plymouth


Alison photographer

“I think the project has been powerful in many ways, because I’m not just a photographer, I am a patient, there is total trust and understanding”

Alison Romanczuk, 53, photographer, London 


Alice Snape

“I would have loved to have met Katherine”

Alice Snape, 32, editor of Connect, London


View all the portraits in the series: sarcoma.org.uk/sarcoma-and-you

Want to know more about what sarcoma is? Watch this film, then share it…


Supporting Sarcoma Awareness Week #SarcomaAW

James's rose tattoo This rose tattoo is one of the many photos that makes up a photo montage called ‘The Many Faces of Sarcoma’ a campaign to raise awareness about a rare form of cancer


The Many Faces of Sarcoma –  18-24 June 2012, Sarcoma Awareness Week.

Rose tattoo by Steve Vinall Rose tattoo by Steve Vinall


This rose tattoo belongs to James from Papercut Pictures, not only have I worked with James on the London Tattoo Convention series, but he is also my boyfriend, so this is a difficult and emotional post to write.

James’s sister Katherine died from the rare form of cancer sarcoma just over a year ago. James wanted to get a tattoo in memory of his sister and Katherine had a rose tattoo down her side. It sits on his chest so she is always close to his heart.

Kate Tattoo Katherine’s Tattoo


Tattoos can mean so many different things and capture very different emotions. Katherine got her rose tattoo before she died, so she could live life to the full and experience as many things as possible. James got his rose tattoo, so that he always carries  with him a memory of his sister.

Katherine’s rose tattoo was done by Snappy Gomez at King’s Cross Tattoo Parlour.
James’s rose tattoo was done by Steve Vinall at The Family Business.

Sarcoma UK is the main charity in the UK dealing with all types of sarcoma. Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the supporting or connective tissues of the body such as muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels and fat.

Sarcoma does not discriminate – there are around 3,200 new cases each year in the UK.

You can support Sarcoma UK’s campaign by uploading your own picture to The Many Faces of Sarcoma. You can also watch Papercut Pictures’ film All in it together – living with Sarcoma, Katherine features in the film, unfortunately she died two weeks before the film was launched.

All In It Together – Living With Sarcoma from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.