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West Wickham woman who had double mastectomy bares all for naked calendar
AFTER bravely going under the knife to have a double mastectomy, West Wickham's Carly Perkins has bared all for a naked calendar.
The 29-year-old tested positive for the BRCA gene, which hugely increases a person’s chances of developing breast cancer, earlier this year.
Development of the disease can be prevented by having a mastectomy, but Miss Perkins, who had surgery in March, felt a lack of awareness made the process harder than it could have been.
Miss Perkins, who grew up in Sylvan Way, said: "When I had my surgery I didn't feel there was much support apart from family members.
"It is a really scary thing to think about although as soon as I knew I had the gene I knew I had to have the surgery.
"I don't think people know about the issue or understand it so I think that really needs to be changed.
"I had the surgery before Angelina Jolie announced her mastectomy, and although that helps I think more can be done."
The BRCA gene Miss Perkins tested positive for is hereditary, and she is determined to ensure her 2-year-old daughter, Tilly-Rose, receives as much support as possible should she go through a similar thing one day.
The house mother said: "I want to do as much as I can do to raise as much awareness as possible, it is only going to be a good thing for my daughter when she is old enough.
"Like me, she will have a 50 per cent chance of having the gene, but she can't be tested until she is 18.
"I want to change things for the future, for her."
Miss Perkins, who now lives in Crawley, added: "The shoot was amazing, really empowering.
"People have this idea that women who have had the surgery are somehow not sexy, not womanly. That is not the case at all.
"The way the surgery can work it isn't what people think it is.
"This will hopefully change people's views on how women look after surgery."
The calendar, entitled BRCA Babes, was organised by the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline, who helped Miss Perkins through her mastectomy, and involves her and another 24 women from across the UK.
To buy a copy of the calender visit brcababes.com.
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