Brave Cancer Survivor Frees The Nipple With Breast Tattoo

An Australian woman has undergone a 13-hour tattoo on her breast to transform it into art following a lumpectomy


A Sydney-based mother is inspiring women around the world after deciding to make art out of her breast. 

Earlier this year, Alison Habbal was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy which involved removing the tumour and the surrounding tissue, including her nipple.

Patients who undergo the procedure are often given the option to reconstruct the nipple but Habbal decided to celebrate her body with a tattoo on her breast, instead. 


'I didn't want a fake nipple made from some other piece of flesh. I thought I'm just going to get a tattoo,' she told the BBC.

About last night - about half way #painismybitch #likeafuckingboss

A photo posted by Alison (@secretary925) on


After months of chemotherapy and the surgery, Habbal found solace by imagining how she would experiment with her hair and body after her treatment. 

'During the year I was sick I had the idea of me with the blonde crop and the tattoo. The whole time I was sick I would trawl tattoo artists over the internet,' she added.

After months of searching for the right tattoo artist, the 36-year-old decided to contact New Zealand-based tattooist called Makkala Rose.

According to Rose, the intricate illustrative tattoo took 13 hours to ink and praises Alison with being an 'absolute champion' given the intense pain she would have endured by having a tattoo placed on the most sensitive areas of her breast.

'It's quite humbling and it puts a lot of things into perspective,' said Rose.

'That made it really cool to be able to do for her,' she added.

Since posting a picture of her floral tattoo on Instagram two months, Habbal has received over 1,200 likes and has been inundated with messages from supporters around the world, commending her on her bravery and innovative tattoo. 

'Because there's no nipple, I can blast it everywhere all over Facebook and Instagram, and they can't censor it, which I think is really funny,' she told the BBC. 

Take that, cancer. 

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