Cancer ribbon color meanings

Written by carrie ann wilcox
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Cancer ribbon color meanings
Ribbons represent a variety of cancer awareness campaigns. (3 pink ribbons image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Coloured ribbons promote awareness for a variety of different illnesses and concerns. HIV and AIDS, domestic violence and support for our troops are just a few.The most well known is probably the colour pink, for breast cancer.

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History of the Ribbon

Ribbons were first worn to represent the plight of soldiers in the 1955 French war with Vietnam and the Iran Hostage Crisis with the United States in 1979. Following this red ribbons were worn to support AIDS sufferers. Owing to their popularity, coloured ribbons have since been used to raise awareness for various types of cancer, beginning in 1991 with the pink ribbon for breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Ribbon

The pink ribbon became popular in the United States after Alexandra Penney, editor of "Self" magazine, started distributing ribbons with her magazine's Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue in October 1992. The colour pink was chosen to make the ribbon more commercially appealing.

Cancer ribbon color meanings
A pink ribbon supports breast cancer awareness. (breast cancer ribbon image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Other Cancer Ribbons

A lavender ribbon is used for awareness of cancer in general. A grey ribbon is used for brain cancer, white for lung cancer, light blue for prostate cancer and purple for pancreatic cancer. Burgundy and white represent head and neck cancers, while yellow supports awareness of bone cancer.

Cancer ribbon color meanings
(ribbons image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)

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