"The 28-year-old Israeli woman was photographed for a story about the high rate of breast cancer in Israel and the high cost of gene testing and preventive surgeries.
But the point of the article was lost in the furore over the picture, which showed the woman’s surgery scar and part of her nipple.
Online critics called the image "trashy" and too gratuitous for the front page of such a prestigious newspaper. The right-wing Drudge Report called the photo a “Peep Show” in a headline.
The young woman at the centre of the controversy denied the image was “cheap.”
In a statement given to the New York Times she said: “When I first saw the photo I did not find it either provocative or inappropriate. I thought it was powerful and told my story - I am a proud, young Jewish woman who had breast cancer, and I have a scar that proves it.”
She went on: “I didn’t expect such controversy around the photo - but I’m glad the photo caused an impact since I believe that there should be more awareness about breast cancer, genetic testing, the conflict of “what to do” with a positive result, etc.”