This is how women look after a mastectomy – and it’s beautiful.

It’s a collection of the most joyous images born of one of the most confronting circumstances – women who have had mastectomies after breast cancer.

Katelyn Carey, an American nurse, embarked on the project after losing both breasts. The result is Beauty After Breast Cancer, and the series of portraits is nothing short of stunning.

More than 1.7 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and of those 15,600 will be Australian – the equivalent of one in eight women.

Katelyn says she felt both uneasy and less feminine after her double mastectomy.

"It was easier to find my beauty and sense of self again through a camera lens that was not colored by my fear, my grief, my self-consciousness," Carey wrote on her website.

She contacted 33 breast cancer survivors with ages ranging from 29-82 and started photographing them.

"Our primary purpose with this book is to give women who are newly diagnosed the information they need to make their decisions, and the 'proof' there will be beauty, life, and femininity again after their battle.

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"This isn't always an easy thing to know or remember when one is in the midst of all the fear that comes with a diagnosis of cancer," she told Debrief Daily.

Beauty After Breast Cancer wants to get people talking about breast cancer in "an unintimidating format".

"Hopefully that will help women who are 'too scared to know', and therefore are not screening themselves very well, to feel more comfortable doing so," Carey said.

The images, which feature women of all ages and shapes, are beautiful. 

Take a look.

"We don't hold back, and the photos show both 'ideal' outcomes as well as surgeries that had complications." Carey told The Huffington Post.

"Yet we are still managing to be uplifting and unintimidating with the portraits and stories we are sharing."

"A woman who has just heard the words, 'you have breast cancer' does not need to be scared further," she said.

"I feel the faceless portraits of scars remain too harsh for someone who has no experience with breast cancer."

"More and more I wish I had this book when I was going through my surgery."

"And I guess that's the point of all this" she admits.

"Here are 33 women, seen through the unbiased lens of a camera, that is not colored by grief, fear, or self-consciousness. They are beautiful, and not at all lessened by their experiences. If they can do it, you say, so can I."

The book, which was first funded on content based website Kickstarter in 2014, will launch in America in the autumn of 2015. You can find out more about it here.

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