A mum-of-two who had a double mastectomy has posed for a risque charity calendar.
Calendar girl Rachel White, 41, took part to raise funds for the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline.
Sitting pretty as Miss February, Rachel was one of 24 women from across the UK to take part. All have had preventative mastectomies and have used the helpline for support.
She said: “We wanted to show that the female body is not as monstrous as some people might think – we wanted to show that women could still look good after a mastectomy.”
Rachel, who owns the Sewing Room in Accrington , had the double mastectomy after a cancer scare in 2009.
She said: “Two relatives of mine found out they had breast cancer and after genetic testing they were found to have BRCA1, which is the same gene that Angelina Jolie had. I got tested myself and found out I too had the gene.”
Everyone has BRCA1 genes but when they contain abnormalities the risk of breast cancer increases.
Rachel added: “At the time they asked me whether I wanted a mastectomy or whether I wanted it monitored by having a mammogram every six months. One month it looked like there was a mass in the breast. It was a horrendous time.
“When they later said it wasn’t anything to worry about, I thought I can’t live like this, especially being a mother, so I decided to have a double mastectomy.” Rachel said: “Any woman that finds out she has got the BRCA1 gene should either chose to get monitored or get a mastectomy. I would say that you don’t have to rush anything.”
Rachel, who lives in Blackburn, said the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline has been a real help to her over the last few years and said that the calendar was a way of giving something back. She said: “We were thinking about raising money for the charity and we came up with the calendar. I was quite nervous at the time, but I am happy to be part of it.”
Rachel is selling calendars at The Sewing Room or from brcababes.com