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Cancer Ribbons

Wear a cancer ribbon; endorse your support to fight cancer,Building hope to fight cancer with cancer ribbons,How to buy a cancer ribbon?

How would you describe Cancer? The word continues to send shivers down anyone’s spine despite all happening medical advancements in oncology. Cancer of any form continues to be fatal to about 20 per cent of the population. Even as a multi-disciplinary cancer management system is set in place, it seems possible to build hope to fight cancer only with effective communication. A cancer ribbon is well communicating that optimism to fight the dreaded disease.

It’s all to do with awareness. Cancer ribbons care to tell you that 80 per cent of all cancers are due to identified factors such as smoking and alcohol abuse, and therefore potentially preventable. They care to garner all the support for cancer awareness, research and advocacy. They care to raise funds for cancer research, treatment and hospice care for patients. If you want to be part of the awareness campaign, all you need to do is wear a cancer ribbon and endorse your support to fight cancer.

It was around the early 90s that ribbons became an effective tool for promoting awareness about cancer. It started with pink ribbons for breast cancer and now there are distinct colors symbolizing support to fight every kind of cancer. Lavender ribbons designate general cancer awareness. Teal ribbons endorse support for ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and uterine cancer. Similarly yellow ribbons for bladder cancer, purple ribbon for pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer, brown or royal blue ribbons for colon cancer, golden, pink or light blue for childhood cancer, green ribbons for kidney cancer, pearl white ribbons for lung cancer, plain white ribbons for bone cancer, orange ribbons for blood cancer, burgundy ribbons for multiple cancer, gray ribbons for brain cancer, blue ribbons for prostate cancer and black ribbons for skin cancer.

While some color ribbons signify support for other noble causes as well, a cancer ribbon in all its shades is slowly gaining recognition over the past decade. Also every merchandise of cancer ribbons –ribbon pins, car magnets, band bracelets, pens, paper post it notes, hats, tattoos, cell pone accessories, umbrellas, books, shirts, socks, gifts, jewelry, stained glass, water bottles, watches, coffee mugs and many more – is gaining popularity.

Most popular among all cancer ribbons is the pink ribbon that has become a universal symbol of hope for breast cancer. Reasons are obvious. Breast cancer is estimated to affect 2,600,000 plus women in the United States alone. According to the United States National Cancer Institute, it is the most common type of cancer (excepting skin cancer) among women in the United States.

The awareness, research, advocacy, funds for treatment and cure that is required for breast cancer is enormous. As per a surveillance research conducted by the American Cancer Society, if a woman is currently 20 years, the chances of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years is 1 in 2500. If a woman is 30 years old, the chances of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years is 1 in 250. There is, therefore a dire need to create awareness about performing monthly self breast examinations, clinical examinations every three years and mammography every year. Prompt guidance from your doctor about such breast cancer tests is a must especially after a woman crosses 40 years of age.

October is breast cancer awareness month. That’s when the sale of pink ribbons peak. Hundreds of breast cancer charities step up awareness drives, raise funds for research into cause, prevention and cure of breast cancer. Pink ribbon e-commerce service providers such as,, and help you be part of the campaign by purchasing and wearing their unique range of pink ribbon products.

Similarly September is prostate cancer awareness month. Blue ribbons (for prostate cancer) especially wristbands are found to be an easy and popular way to endorse one’s support for prostate cancer awareness. Blue ribbon wristbands especially those made by the Prostate cancer foundation read, “I’m helping cure prostate cancer”. The wristbands have the Prostate cancer foundation website Wristbands are sold in packets of 10 costing $ 10. As blue ribbons also designate support for colorectal cancer (alternatively brown), some campaigners go in for custom made blue ribbon merchandise as well.

February 4 is World Cancer Day. Select shops across the world facilitate sale of cancer ribbons. Other than pink and blue ribbons, cancer ribbons are yet to gain popularity and convey the message as powerfully as it’s intended to be. There is hope in preventing and finding cure for the disease only if everyone is involved in the movement and endorse support by wearing a cancer ribbon. Hundreds of cancer foundations and cancer charities can benefit from cancer ribbons. These foundations in turn, increase awareness and fund cancer research. They also offer information and support to those who are affected by the disease.

These cancer ribbons make pleasant gifts for cancer survivors, family, friends and caregivers. It’s not a bad idea to even just treating oneself with a cancer support ribbon. Although some cancer ribbons are popular and some are not, cancer awareness ribbons may be ordered in all colors for any cancer awareness merchandise. It only builds hope to fight the disease every time we see someone wearing a cancer ribbon.
Published: 2008-02-03
Author: Paawana Poonacha Cariappa

About the author or the publisher
Byline articles for publications,PR content for corporates, syndicated articles for bigwigs, rhymes and short stories for children, and poetry for the like-minded...taking forward over 10 years experience as journalist/writer, presently working as Content Head for a Mumbai-based communications firm. You can view my bylines as "Paawana Poonacha" or "Paawana Poonacha Cariappa".

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