Cancer Ribbons: What Are They & What Do They Mean?

August 30, 2021
Cancer Ribbons: What Are They & What Do They Mean?

For most of us, our main exposure to cancer ribbons is the pink breast cancer ribbons that appear annually. However, there are actually a wide array of cancer awareness ribbons out there that you may not be aware of. These ribbons allow cancer patients and their loved ones to show solidarity with each other.

You may not be aware of the history behind any of these ribbons, or what they mean. This piece will explain what cancer ribbons are, and serve as a guide to identifying them, from breast cancer ribbons to lung cancer ribbons. 

Where Do These Ribbons Come From?

Ribbons have long been used as a way to symbolize connection to a loved one or a cause. The first examples of ribbons used for this purpose were yellow ribbons, which family members would use as a reminder of their sons and husbands who were off on military service. 

The first “modern” awareness ribbon, however,  is the red AIDs Awareness Ribbon. In the early 90s, AIDs was something of a taboo subject, and could not always be discussed in the media. Red awareness ribbons could be used to show solidarity and compassion without speaking a single word. 

From this beginning, ribbons began to make the leap to represent solidarity with those suffering other diseases, including cancer. Today, pink breast cancer, pearl lung cancer, light blue prostate cancer, grey brain tumor ribbons can be found all across the world. 

What Do The Colors Mean?

Every different color of cancer ribbon represents a particular kind of cancer. Often these colors have symbolic meaning behind them. For example, the color pink is often associated with femininity in many cultures. This made pink ribbons an appropriate symbol for breast cancer, which is often mainly a concern of women and prostate cancer symbol light blue for men. 

In some cases, the symbolism is a bit more subtle. Lung cancer ribbons are often white or pearl. This inconspicuous color is said to represent the fact that lung cancer often goes undetected, or does not have a large presence in the public consciousness despite being such a danger. 

Your Cancer Ribbon Guide

Following is an alphabetical list of a variety of cancer ribbons and their colors. With this, you can hopefully become more aware of the many different cancers out there, and the many different struggles they create in individuals and families around the world. This list is given alphabetically by the type of cancer. If you research these cancer ribbons, you may also find that many of them have an associated awareness month.

Find More Ways of Cancer Support

Cancer ribbons are a great way to show your solidarity and support for a wide variety of cancer sufferers. In particular, a lavender cancer ribbon can be used to represent your support for all cancer patients, everywhere. OneVillage is dedicated to doing our best to support cancer patients by putting them in contact with the caregivers, support, services, products, and information they need. If you’d like more information on what OneVillage does, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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