6:00am Thursday 26th September 2013
By Alexandra Rucki
A mother has posed naked in a charity calender to raise awareness of the BRCA breast cancer gene.
Frances Howarth, of Tooting, joined 24 other women who have all had mastectomies to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
All of the women participating had discovered they were carrying the mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which has been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
The BRCA Babes calender aims to raise thousands for charity, while removing the stigma attached to having mastectomy surgery.
Mrs Howarth, 42, said: “We decided to do a calender to help others to say you are beautiful with scars. We were all really nervous when we went in there, it was really liberating when we were done.”
The mother-of-three, who works in Sainsbury’s in Brixton, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, despite having no family history of the disease.
After going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy she was tested for the faulty gene, discovering she was a carrier of BRCA2.
She opted for a double mastectomy, with no reconstruction surgery.
Her sister was also found to be carrying the gene and chose to have a double mastectomy.
The calender features the women in tasteful black and white images, in the style of Calender Girls but without the buns.
Visit brcababes.com to purchase the calender.
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