Scottsdale tattoo artist helping breast cancer survivors feel whole again

Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy’s
Lina Anderson has been helping breast cancer survivors who've had mastectomies feel whole again by tattooing areolas and nipples.
Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 8:42 AM MST|Updated: Oct. 31, 2023 at 9:01 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — On this last day of breast cancer awareness month, we’re showing you a procedure that’s helping survivors in their recovery. It’s Something Good when the breast cancer warriors can fell better about themselves and feel more like themselves again.

Lina Anderson is the owner of Daela Cosmetic Tattoo in Scottsdale, and she what this tattoo artist does for breast cancer survivors is life changing. Over half of the tattoos she works on consists of nipple and areola restoration for women who’ve had mastectomies, an operation that removes the cancer by removing the affected breast.

“A lot of the time, we are creating an areola and a nipple out of just bare, flat skin,” Anderson said. “We create the areola — it’s a really soft kind of water color appearance.” We create a 3D nipple by using Shadow and lighting with our tattoo technique and it really just brings it right out and makes it look very feminine, very natural.”

Clients go to the parlor from all over, like Janine who drove to the Valley from Tucson. She beat breast cancer over a decade a go. She had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. For many who have the surgery, the nipple is removed, something that has always left Janine feeling incomplete. “It was just kind of a shock seeing those blank things,” Janine said. “So, I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to look and see what could be done about that.’”

“Whether you have implants, scar tissue — you know — no implants, whatever you have going on, we can work on you,” Anderson said. For her, it’s more than just work. It’s personal. Anderson’s mother had a double mastectomy because she carries a rare breast cancer gene. So, it’s Something Good when she can help a client feel whole again.

“I’m just hoping, again, I won’t have that blank look in the mirror,” Janine said. “If this kind of gives me confidence — it’s kind of like why women wear nice underwear. It’s like you just know you’re looking good. I think it’s something I’m doing for myself.”

“We cry together, and they hug me and to seem them walk out of here, just with that glow — it feels unlike anything else,” Anderson said. “I never realized that I was going to be having such a major impact on someone’s life, and I think they didn’t realize that either.”

“There’s stages,” Janine said. “First, you’re in fight mode, and then you’re surviving, and then you get to go to thriving, you know. And that way, you can just kind of do what makes you feel good.”

We love hearing about Something Good happening in our community. So if you know someone or see a business spreading kindness or doing something good, go to the Something Good page on and click ‘Share Your Story’ to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond to do something good in their community.

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