Tattoo artist helps breast cancer survivors heal from the scars left by surgery

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 08:17:00-04

When a doctor is trying to save your life from breast cancer, his number job is to remove that diseased tissue, but often the scars left behind run deep.

However we met a woman using tattoo artistry to make cancer survivors feel whole again.

Cancer runs deep in Mary Pogarch's family. Four of seven siblings carry a cancer gene. For Mary breast cancer came at age 38.

Mary told us within a year, it came back, and she was forced to have a mastectomy.

The cancer returned with a vengeance, a double mastectomy followed with chemo and radiation, and that same awful question.

Mary would be asked, "Who did your surgery, it was just horrendous, almost butchered."

Then every time Mary would look in the mirror she would feel, sad and depressed.

Today, breast reconstruction is immediate. 30 years ago, it was a four year wait, still for Mary her breast did not look natural.

Enter LoAnn Nguyen who owns LoAnn's Brow Art Studio and is an expert in microblading eyebrows and using tattoo artistry to create women 3D nipples that appear to be real, but if you touch them are flat.

LoAnn wanted to help women like Mary heal because in Vietnam where she grew up health care is almost non-existent. LoAnn says in Vietnam women would just end up dying of breast cancer instead of getting treatment because it would be too late.

LoAnn trained in Poland to learn this technique where she mixes three tattoo colors to get the perfect blend for tattooed nipples.

The cost to have this done can range from hundreds to two thousand dollars. For LoAnn who remembers a difficult life in Vietnam for her mom and siblings this is her way of giving back.

LoAnn say she can at least help to make women feel better about themselves.

And for Mary after 30 long years, she can now look at her breasts because they look natural but more importantly she say she feel like a total woman again.