A mum-of-two who had two mastectomies has been inundated with support after baring all on social media.
Rebecca Wilkinson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, has received hundreds of messages after publishing the black and white picture.
I have come to terms with my cancer, I just want to get on with my life and start moving forward.”
The 36-year-old from Caton, near Lancaster, posted her topless selfie, which has been seen by millions on Facebook, to stand against some cancer awareness campaigns which aim to go viral online.
Rebecca has been called “brave” and an “inspiration” by social media users.
“The messages I’ve had have been overwhelming,” said the mum-of-two.
“I’ve had people message me who say they feel more confident with their scars and body, people who have hidden their bodies away for 15 years.
“Going through cancer isn’t brave for me, I cried nearly every day, I got up, I did what I had to do. I was trying to make a point, this is cancer, it is not pink and fluffy.
“I think using a perfectly positioned ‘selfie’ to raise cancer awareness is flawed.”
Rebecca was diagnosed in January 2013 after she discovered a lump in her breast.
She says she knew straight away what it was after her mum, Sheila, lost her battle with breast cancer. Just 10 days after being diagnosed Rebecca had her first mastectomy.
She said: “I am not the luckiest person in the world, although in a way I am – I’m not dead. My friends were so supportive.”
Rebecca who calls her breasts, ‘Frankentits’, carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, which her children have a 50 per cent chance of inheriting.
She talks openly to her children, Connie, eight and Freddie, six, about her cancer.
Rebecca said she felt paranoid after publishing the picture when a Tesco staff member asked her a question whilst shopping. She said: “I thought she was asking a question about my boobs but she just wanted to know where I got my shoes from!”
Rebecca will donate fees she has received from national newspapers to breast cancer charities. She said: “This whole thing has been surreal but it has helped people psychologically and raised money. I have come to terms with my cancer, I just want to get on with my life and start moving forward.”