beauty

Jenn Alter's brave breast cancer treatment pic shows what "awareness" is.

Image: Tumblr. Images may be confronting for some people.

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time where plenty are doing their bit to educate women about the disease – incredibly important, given that it still kills seven Australians every day.

While anything that raises awareness is great, there have been concerns raised with some recent “viral” campaigns exploiting this. The #HoldACokeWithYourBoobs challenge in June duped many into posting topless pictures of themselves thinking they were raising awareness, but turned out to be a joke hashtag. And many are questioning the purpose of the latest campaign – No Bra Day.

Fed up with these “sexy” breast cancer awareness movements, one breast cancer survivor has hit back with a reality check about what living with the disease is really like. 36-year-old Jenn Alter shared pictures on Tumblr of what her chest looked like during radiation treatment to show how it affects sufferers.

“Here’s your f*cking breast cancer awareness,” she started the caption.

Image: Tumblr. (pushinginthepin)

"This was during my 35 day radiation back in 2013. Breast cancer isn't sexy. It’s not about saving the boobies. It’s not about no bra day, which is really just an excuse for women to post sexy pics of their nipples pressing through their clothes. It’s scars, nausea, pain, bald heads, burnt skin, and broken hearts," she wrote.

"If this doesn’t make you 'aware' then I don’t know what will. Does it make you uncomfortable? It should."

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The post has been reblogged over 140,000 times, with Alter saying the fact that her "boobs are now internet famous... has me feeling a bit weird."

Image: Tumblr.  (Pushinginthepin)

While there have been a few complaints, she says most reactions to her pictures have been entirely positive.

"I deleted that ask/message from that girl telling me she didn’t want to see my breast cancer pic and that I was being a bitch about the entire thing. The overwhelming response to that picture has been positive. Even though she needs to learn that her words have consequences, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving that exchange up. Yes, she pissed me off, but she’s scared. I know how that feels. We do stupid things when we get scared," she wrote in a follow up post.

"I’ve had at least one hundred messages today from people telling me that I have changed the way they look at breast cancer and cancer awareness in general. Holy shit, you guys. I never ever expected this response. Thank you." (Post continues after gallery.)

In May this year, Lisa Royal's 'breast selfie' also went viral after she posted it on Facebook days before undergoing a mastectomy.

The picture showed a tiny dimple just visible on the underside of her breast, which led to her breast cancer diagnosis - which she hoped would encourage others to check their own breasts and hopefully save lives.

Are you aware of your family's history with breast cancer?