By Lianne Back
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Shirtless beneath a pink blazer, Eylon Nuphar stands scarred and proud as she poses for the cover of an Israeli women's magazine one month after undergoing a double mastectomy.
Nuphar, 49, an Israeli performing artist, chose not to have her breasts reconstructed after the surgery and hopes her cover shoot for Laisha weekly will inspire other women going through similar trials.
"It's a very personal choice. I guess I'm brave enough to do it and carry my scars and love them but I am only brave because I know it will help other women," she said.
Nuphar carries the BRCA gene which is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. At the age of 33 she was first diagnosed with breast cancer and went through chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation.
When the cancer returned 16 years later, Nuphar opted for a double mastectomy, but decided she would not endure further surgery.
"This is something women are dealing with all over the world and they are so afraid of not going through reconstruction so they won't have to deal with being so different and with the shame of someone looking or not looking at them, feeling attractive or unattractive," said Nuphar.
"I chose not to do reconstruction, which makes me flat and fierce," said Nuphar.
(Reporting by Lianne Back; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Raissa Kasolowsky)