Cancer patients in powerful images for social media campaign

Cancer patients in powerful images for social media campaign

On an inspirational Instagram post, True Cancer Bodies, a band of previous and current cancer patients are displaying the truth of how the disease can affect our cells.

In April, Vicky Saynor picked up the social media site in reaction to an “ill-thought-out” initiative from ‘ Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Now ‘ using slogans like “2 are better than 1” and “bosom friends” alongside beaming celebrity endorsements.

And after her surgery, Vicky, who had taught through Coppafeel how to verify herself correctly, chose to open up her Instagram blog @gammy tit as a cathartic manner to report what she was working through.

Between them, the band, consisting of both males and females ranging from 26 to 57, depicted 10 distinct cancers including nipple, bowel, various myeloma, and Ewing’s sarcoma-many of which never receive shiny celebrity endorsements.

True Cancer Bodies have told Celebjar since the photo shoot that they have gained incredible assistance by displaying “the hideous part as well as the lovely” of internet life with the disease.

They stated: “These pictures have shown nothing in them because of the amazing nature of the individuals, and yet because of the nudity or bruises that can be seen, they are considered inappropriate to publish.

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Hi, I’m Jen @thecancerchrons Cancer can feed off your identity, taking parts of it away bit by bit. Your hair, your dignity, your strength, your hope, various organs & body parts, your independence. Mine decided I would also need to sacrifice my face. Our face is how we present ourselves to the world & is tied in such a big way to our identity. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) most commonly presents in the legs of young boys, as well as dogs & the occasional polar bear. Mine decided to show up in a 29yr old, as a small lump sticking out above my upper teeth. Chemo was unimaginable – 24hrs/day, 5 days/week, 3 weeks on & 2 weeks off. Rinse & repeat 6 times. Then surgery to remove the tumour & a lot of the bone in my face, reconstructing my upper jaw using the bone, skin, muscle & blood supply from my shoulder – later having to use the blood supply in my leg after the shoulder one started to fail. And yes, they took most of my top teeth away from me too. I didn’t look human when I woke up from that surgery & it’s been hard going through the past 2 years having my face change so much. People often asked what was ‘wrong’ with me & I couldn’t step away from announcing ‘I have/had cancer’ whenever I met anyone new. At times it was difficult seeing people on Instagram going through cancer treatment & looking glam, when I just wanted to hide my broken face away. Now, 2 years since diagnosis, I am finally starting to be happy with how I look, thanks in a big way to finally having some teeth back. I can’t stop smiling. In some ways I have grown to love my patchwork body even more now. I no longer worry about things like a bit of excess weight or there. It feels trivial compared to what incredible things my body has endured. It has done me proud. Sarcoma awareness month is drawing to a close. Osteosarcoma is a rare cancers. Did you now that 54% of all cancer deaths in the UK are from rare or uncommon cancers? If you have a hard lump please get it checked out. Doing so could save your life. Continued below… ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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REACHING THE NON CANCER COMMUNITY One of our goals with True Cancer Bodies is to raise awareness about as many of the 200 different cancers there are out there as well as the symptoms & ways people can check themselves to help early detection. We know that a huge number of our followers are cancer warriors; from those recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment/surgery, living with cancer, in remission. These amazing people help us to show the true & real face/body of cancer. However to truly make a difference, we need to make sure that we reach the non-cancer community. Those are the people who we can help to educate, enlighten & inspire just as much by what we are doing. So…we have a favour this Sunday morning. Please can you send this post to as many people you know, who do not already follow us, who do not have or had cancer. This will help us reach a new audience. Or tag them in the comments telling them to get involved. It is not about the numbers for us. If we have helped 10, 20, 50, 100 people then what we are doing is so worth it. However, we will always strive to keep spreading our word. Thank you all so much for being here, for your support, for inspiring us! #truecancerbodies #cancerawareness #bts #photoshoot #shufflebacksunday #sundaymorning . Photography by @binkynixon & @betrothedandco 📷

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. THE FIRST #TRUECANCERBODIES MEET UP = DONE!! ❤️ We have had the most wonderful day! More stories & pics to follow but for now…a huge thank you to the team at the @kimptonfitzroy for their generosity & hospitality. Thank you to everyone who made it & thank you to those who could not make it for supporting us throughout the day through our social media. If you missed it early, please go & catch up our lives from today! This was the first of what we hope will be many meet ups all over the country (& world – #tcbgoesglobal ) & served as another incredible example of how much the TCB community can do to help & support eachother. #cancerresearch #cancerawareness #community #sundayfunday

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Written by Renee @rshill37 . I was diagnosed with Appendix Cancer in Aug 2016 at the age of 31. I was in, probably, the best shape of my life & shocked is an understatement. I went to see my primary care doctor about some pretty non-descript symptoms – basically being a woman. She took what I had to say seriously. I ended up meeting a gynecologic oncologist a week later & immediately had surgery scheduled. She thought it was a possibly malignant ovarian cyst. My appendix & ovaries were removed during the initial surgery. There was so much disease on my ovaries no fertility could be saved. I went from having never heard of this disease to becoming a relative expert. My family & I learned everything we could. I went from my initial surgery to starting chemotherapy 4 weeks later. I went in every two weeks all fall, with the goal of shrinking my tumors while simultaneously getting my body strong enough for a major surgery. I had five rounds of Folfox & 3 rounds of Folfiri. Thankfully the chemo did what it was supposed to & my surgery was scheduled. On Jan 20, 2017 – I underwent a 12-hour cytoreductive/HIPEC surgery. The recovery from this was long, difficult & still hard to think about. My body was no longer mine. I slowly got back to my life: work, walking, exercise, eating. I ran for the first time four months after surgery & it was only for a few minutes, but it gave me hope. I was so weak & fragile. I went back to yoga 10 months after my diagnosis, which was great for me both physically & mentally. All summer I said yes to every activity I could: hiking, biking, kayaking. My biggest accomplishment was running the Door County Half Marathon on May 5, 2018. It was my slowest & most difficult half marathon, but I finished it. This has fuelled me to get stronger & faster & continue on my path to being the old me. I am now 2.5 years cancer free. The first picture is part of a series I had taken this year. The second picture is me & my oncologist who handed me my medal when I crossed the finish line. #rarecancerawareness #appendixcancer #cancerawareness #checkcheckcheck #truecancerbodies

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Hi, I’m @julietkfp In 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer after my 2nd routine mammogram. The tumour was in my left breast, 7cm & turned out to be ER & HER2+. It was a shock as I hadn’t felt a lump nor seen any of the other signs. . The surgeons couldn’t get all clear margins with a lumpectomy, so I had to have a mastectomy. I was steered down the reconstruction path. The option to remain flat was never offered. After the mastectomy I was left as a GGcup “uniboober” & hated it. I asked my surgeon if he would remove both breasts at once but he said no. I came to like my flat side & scar much more than my large breast. Every time I had a check-up with my surgeon, I asked him if he would agree to a 2nd mastectomy. He eventually agreed. . I’m so much happier & I don’t miss my breasts. I still feel like a woman & feel feminine. I’ve discovered that my breasts didn’t define me as a woman & that living flat is a positive choice after mastectomy. . Making the choice to remove my healthy right breast has made me feel empowered & confident about myself & my body. I’ve done topless shoots & I feel comfortable showing my chest & scars. My aim is to de-stigmatise the image of the woman with no breasts & to increase images showing flat chested women. I want to advocate for women to be given all choices after mastectomy – not just reconstruction. Staying flat is a positive choice to make & should be offered to all. My scars are a record of the trauma that my body has been through & the healing & strength that it continues to give me. Life after cancer has been surprising & even sometimes amazing. I never thought that my topless image would be on a billboard in Times Square! I’ve done talks, written articles & started my own blog. I’ve grown so much as a person. But I suffer from anxiety & have to push myself to do all that I do. Dark days are still regular & on those days I allow myself to wallow. As time goes on & I get further from my diagnosis I notice that they are less & the positive days are greater. I hold onto that. Photos: @suelaceyphotography . #breastcancerawarness #breastcancer #cancerawareness #mastectomyscar #truecancerbodies

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