An Auckland woman has published photos of her reconstructed breasts online to take away some of the fear and mystery around a mastectomy.
Devonport woman Nic Russell spent her 30s undergoing radiography and a double mastectomy, while losing her young daughter to paraspinal cancer.
Tuning 40 last week, she wanted to mark the end of a rough decade while helping other women deal with making the decision to get a mastectomy.
"When you look online, most images are quite clinical or quite stark. It shows you a headless torso.
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"I thought, wouldn't it be nice to try and change the conversation around mastectomies and reconstruction, and celebrate it."
She says she wanted to be a source of encouragement, and take away some of the fear surrounding the operation.
"They can see beautiful images. Uplifting images. Not just those clinical images, but actually them in their natural form.
"I think that doing that sort of dispels the fear and the mystery around it."
Nic Russell plans to show the images in an exhibition on the North Shore early next year.