Breast cancer tattoos became hugely popular about 15 years ago, and they have only picked up steam since then. They are very meaningful tattoos for adults of all ages and are often worn proudly since they either represent a cancer battle won or the love the owner has for someone who has passed away.
On this page, we will take a look at some of the most popular breast cancer tattoo designs and the meanings that are attached to them.
While there are a variety of breast cancer tattoos, all of which are extremely personal to each individual, the pink breast cancer ribbon is the most common symbol of awareness, survival and remembrance. People will get this version of the breast cancer tattoo for any or all of those reasons, and it is pretty much always worn with pride. Regardless of the placement of these tattoos, you can be sure that the owners find a lot of meaning in them.
Mastectomy tattoos are received specifically by those whose breast tissue has been removed because of breast cancer and usually seek to cover the scarred area. They will often purposely place the outer lines of these designs so they cover the outside lines of the scars. However, some people actually bring more attention to the scars to show that they have no fear of them and will not let them get in their way of living a full and happy life.
Breast cancer tattoos are not only received by those who have experienced cancer but also by friends and family who want to support survivors and deceased loved ones. These are often worn as a source of pride for people because they know their friends or loved ones have gone through quite a battle.
Even though a basic breast cancer tattoo can work in these cases, some people opt to put the name of the person they’re supporting above or below the tattoo to make the meaning a little bit clearer.
The pink ribbon is not always used within a breast cancer tattoo but the color pink generally is, identifying the cancer as a disease that affects almost exclusively women. There really aren’t that many other popular pink tattoo designs out there, so it’s pretty easy to identify breast cancer tattoos regardless of whether they are ribbon designs or not.
If you want to make your breast cancer tattoo a bit more unique, simply add pink to any other design; maybe outsiders won’t know the meaning at first, but you always will.
When a more masculine symbol is desired, pink boxing gloves are used to symbolize the fight against the disease. The ribbon is usually included, tying the gloves together, however, the color is not always a vibrant pink but generally remains within the same color palate to ensure the image is recognized as a symbol of breast cancer survival.
Of course, men can also just get the ribbon or one of the other popular breast cancer tattoo designs, but it is great that they do have this option if they want a more masculine look to their tats.
The pink ribbon is used ubiquitously to convey awareness of breast cancer and is rendered in various ways. And this is important to keep in mind because you absolutely do not have to get the classic ribbon look.
You can tweak the design and just about everyone will recognize what it symbolizes. For example, some people will only get one end of the ribbon tattooed on their skin and have it connected to some other meaningful symbol.
The ribbon is used on its own or as part of script or other designs. What’s great about breast cancer tattoos is that you can keep it simple with the design or you can go all out and add in details that are special to you. You can attach your ribbon to a symbol that shows off another part of who you are, or you can add more images that represent breast cancer awareness.
We point this out because many people think that it might be offensive to attach the ribbon to other designs, and it definitely is not. It’s your tattoo, so you can have it designed however you want it.
The ribbon can serve as the body of a butterfly, symbolizing renewal and hope, as a part of a beautiful floral design, or as a type of script itself. The butterfly is one of the most popular designs that are added to breast cancer tattoos since they fit neatly in the middle of the bow and add some fantastic meanings.
With flowers or script, you will need to work with your artist to ensure that the design looks good when put together and that it fits nicely wherever you plan to have it placed.
The ribbon can be used to write out inspirational words in a pink, satin calligraphy font, like “hope”, “faith”, “live” and other motivational mantras. In most cases, the word or words you choose to use totally depends on who you are and what you want your tattoo to say to people who see it. You might also decide to get it as a very personal tattoo that is hidden from most people’s view, in which case you can get any word that you like and won’t have to worry about how it is seen.
Single words are the most popular way to do this, but you can get full quotes if that works better for you. This is especially true if you are getting your breast cancer tattoo to honor a family member or friend since you might want to include a quote that they said or that they loved themselves. The key to these designs is figuring out a font that you like and that will work well with the words you choose to use. You can easily add a ribbon or part of a ribbon to either end of the quote.
The ribbon is also used as a memorial to a friend or family member who has passed on. Their name and birthdate, sometimes the date of their death as well, are added to the face of the ribbon, signifying a courageous battle with the disease. If you do get your breast cancer tattoo for someone who has passed away, then you might want to add it into a much larger piece. For example, some people will add a ribbon to a portrait tattoo, which could also include dates, the person’s name, and other images.
Angel wings, halos, clouds, and beams of light can be added to invoke ideas of heaven and an angelic spirit. All of these designs are meant to show that you know the person you are honoring is in a better place and that they will not be forgotten.
These all work quite well as arm and back tattoos, but they can be placed anywhere if the design is made in such a way to fit. If you are planning on adding wings to your breast cancer tattoo, then you might want to opt for a back tattoo since wings often look best when they are large and placed along the shoulder blades.
The image of the pink ribbon draped around a crucifix is another common spiritual image, identifying the deceased as a Christian who has passed into the arms of God. While this can also work quite well as a large back tattoo, crosses can be as detailed and as large as you want them to be. They can even work well on the wrist if you want to be able to remember the person you’re honoring every day of your life.
As you can see, you have plenty of options when it comes to breast cancer tattoos and their meanings. These are some of the only designs that you really don’t have to worry about choosing meanings to use because they are all quite meaningful and most people use the same ones. All you really have to focus on is getting a breast cancer tattoo design that you love and figuring out a place to put it on your body.