What Cancer Ribbons Mean

You may be familiar with the ribbons that are associated with Cancer. These ribbons are used to raise awareness and support fundraising campaigns. These ribbons are so popular that they’re associated with more than 30 different cancers. Some colors are associated with more than one type of disease.

History of the Cancer Ribbon

Ribbons have been used as a symbol of support and solidarity for a long time. It is possible that the idea came from a 1950s folk tale about a former prisoner who returned home by train. He tells his family to tie a white ribbon to a tree to let him off the train. He’ll continue to a brand new life if he doesn’t get off the train.

The song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by the popular group Tony Orlando and Dawn became a big hit in the early 1970s. Penne Laingen used the yellow ribbon in 1979 to call for her husband Bruce, who was one of the U.S. hostages being held in Iran. Yellow stripes were spread across the country after the media reported Penne’s actions.

In 1991, a small group of people began using colored ribbons to raise cancer awareness. Charlotte Haley started handing out peach-colored ribbons in her local grocery stores and doctors’ offices. She also included a postcard that pointed out the lack of funding for breast cancer prevention.

Alexandra Penney was an editor at Self in 1992. After hearing about Haley’s efforts, Penney asked Haley to use the ribbon for an issue on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Haley declined, saying Penney’s efforts were too corporate. Penney decided to use a pink ribbon instead and thought of distributing them at make-up counters throughout New York City in order to draw attention to their cause. In 1990, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation started giving out pink visors to participants in the Race for the Cure. The color pink was already associated with Breast Cancer.

Pink Ribbon International, a nonprofit organization, was founded in the early 2000s. The idea to raise awareness by using colored ribbons was a big hit.

Choose Your Color

Which ribbon represents which Cancer? The most common cancers and the colors that are associated with them.

Breast Cancer: pink October: Awareness Month

Game Pink is a video game-based initiative that raises money and awareness for breast Cancer.

Leukemia: Orange

Awareness Month: September

Since 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised over $1 billion for research into cures for Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and Myeloma. Blood cancer is a larger umbrella that uses a red bow and September as the awareness month.

Prostate cancer: Light blue

Awareness Month: September

Since 1996, Major League Baseball, in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Major League Baseball, has collected pledges for each home run that MLB players hit between June 1 and Father’s Day. In 2019, the challenge raised over $1.4 million.

Lung cancer: Pearl or white

November is Awareness Month

The American Lung Association “Lung Force,” a group of women who are united in the fight against lung carcinoma (the No. 1 cancer killer for American women), urges them to join and stand together. The No. 1 cancer killer among American women is lung cancer. This is done through events like cycling, stairclimbing, expos, and clinics.

Kidney Cancer

Awareness Month: February

The National Kidney Foundation organizes fundraising walks all year round. KidneyCAN, a nonprofit organization that raises money for kidney cancer research, also holds golf tournaments and concerts across the nation.

Brain cancer: Gray

Awareness Month: May

Seattle has hosted the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk since 2008, a one-mile walk and festival in early May. Supporters of brain tumor awareness and research are encouraged to wear grey throughout the month.

Pancreatic Cancer: purple

Awareness Month: November

The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research observes World Pancreatic Cancer Day every year on November 19. Wearing purple and sharing photos on social media is encouraged by supporters to raise awareness.

Colorectal Cancer: Blue

Awareness Month: March

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance encourages people to wear blue in March to raise awareness of the disease. The alliance organizes its “Walk to End Colorectal Cancer,” which takes place at different locations in America throughout the year.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *