WOMEN

Why This Cancer Survivor Feels ‘More Like A Woman’ Without Breasts

“This is how I’m meant to be. This feels as if this is me."

One woman is proudly showing off her double mastectomy scars in a new video for Allure.

Samantha Paige, an artist and Los Angeles native, was recently featured in a video for the magazine’s “Dispelling Beauty Myths” video series. In the video, Paige explained that she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was in college.

“I don’t know that I fully understood in that moment what it would mean really for the next 20 years of my life,” Paige said, referring to the moment she found out she had thyroid cancer. “And I — maybe not in that particular moment — but in those months, disconnected from my body.”

After beating thyroid cancer, Paige’s doctors encouraged her to get tested for the BRCA 1 gene mutation (which determines if a person has an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer) because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 and she herself had already had cancer. 

Paige tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene mutation and, only seven months after giving birth to her only daughter, underwent a preventative double mastectomy.

This is how I’m meant to be. This feels as if this is me.

After the surgery, she chose to get breast implants because she didn’t know there was any other option. 

“I was presented with the options of here are the implants that most women get,” she said. “And I remember there being a little whisper of like, really, this is it? If doing nothing was presented, it was certainly not presented without bias, and I don’t recall it being presented.”

Paige described feeling uncomfortable in her own body for the eight years that she had breast implants. It wasn’t until she was sitting with her daughter on New Year’s Eve of January 2016 that she had a moment of clarity: she wanted to get her breast implants taken out. 

“It was as if all of the decisions that had come before led to this moment of utter clarity and utter knowing of self,” Paige said. “And to be able to confidently say, ‘Yes! I want to be flat. I’m excited to be flat.’”

Now, Paige said, she’s never felt more like herself than since the day her implants were removed.

“This is how I’m meant to be. This feels as if this is me,” she said, adding that she’s “never felt more feminine” in her life. “I feel more like a woman than ever before without my breasts,” she said.

To learn more about Paige head over to her Instagram

Head over to Allure to see more videos from their “Dispelling Beauty Myths” series. 

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