A healthy life is one of the biggest blessings anyone can have. Without health, the wealth and success of a person, no matter how much it is would all go to vain. Sometimes even the most careful and cautious people get inflicted with diseases. Even if they have always maintained a very healthy lifestyle and always taken care of themselves, there are still certain unfortunate occurrences where a person doesn’t have a control on his fate anymore. Life threatening diseases can be a huge and sudden blow to anyone who gets inflicted by it. An example of such a life threatening disease is Cancer. The possibility of having cancer can send goose bumps down anyone’s spine.
Cancer is still responsible for the deaths of many people around the world. However, science and medicine have developed enough to cure this disease and help patients get through it. Even though there are methods and therapies now available for curing it, cancer is still a medical war. It requires the patient a lot of physical strength as well as mental strength to get through the treatments of cancer.
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in the medical world. People suffering from cancer need all the support in the world they can get to get through the trauma cancer causes them. Cancer patients do not just have to go through all physical traumas through the therapies. They also have to face emotional traumas due to the disease. One way of showing support to the cancer patients is through awareness ribbons.
Awareness ribbons are basically used by several people as a symbol of love and support to the patients. There are many different colored ribbons each representing different cancer types. There are various different types of cancer that a patient can be inflicted with.
Cancer Awareness Ribbons
An awareness ribbon may represent different meanings. The meaning behind these ribbons depends on their colors and patterns. These ribbons basically are designed in order to draw awareness about a certain issue or cause. Awareness ribbons are used in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, UK and even other parts of the world. This is done to make a statement for a cause showing support.
People all over the world who have a passion for humanity show support to the unfortunate and sick by wearing these cancer ribbons. People of all ages, young and old participate in awareness drives. The ribbons and small pins are worn by people however as they want. They can wear it on their shirts, their tops, pin it on their hats or even their purses. Everyone has their own way of carrying it and pulling it off. Some people who wear it take it more personally because they often have lost their own loved ones to cancer. They understand the pain that their loved ones when through and the pain they themselves felt after losing them. It helps them understand the feelings of other people’s feelings as well.
History of Cancer Awareness Ribbons
The very first ribbons in history which represented meaningful objects were the tokens which were given to the knights during middle ages in Europe . The yellow colored ribbon came during English civil war from where it further spread to the United States. As the ribbons indicated some certain message, people began to see them as a medium of communication. The first medical cause ribbon was of color Red associated with AIDS. It became a symbol of AIDS soon and everyone who wore it showed their support in fight against AIDS. The red ribbon of AIDS is still a powerful symbol and is used to spread awareness about the disease. It encourages people to find out how the disease is occurred in people and what the ways to prevent it are. The success of red ribbon then led the path to several other awareness projects including awareness for cancer. There are several colors of cancer ribbons which are detailed below.
The color lavender is used to signify cancer in general. The color represents all kinds of cancers . There are many organizations that work towards dedicating themselves to raise funds for support of cancer services.
Pearl or White ribbons
White colored ribbons are a symbol of lung cancer. The original color of this ribbon was clear. The significance behind the white color ribbon for lung cancer signifies air. It also signifies something that isn’t usually noticed. Later onwards however, the color of ribbon changed to white. This happened due to very practical reasons. Since a clear ribbon wasn’t clearly visible, it didn’t help much in spreading awareness about the cause. White color on the other hand was more visible. Some people also suggest that white colored ribbons are a subset of pearl. This would signify long term cancer that non smokers suffered from. However, there is still no support about and evidence of lung cancer organization to support this difference. There are some lung cancer organizations in the world that use some other colored ribbons as their awareness programs about lung cancer, but mostly used and seen color for lung cancer is still white.
Yellow ribbons represent bladder cancer. The color yellow may indicate towards the color of urine and hence bladder cancer has been given the color yellow. The color yellow is strong and eye catching. It is very useful in spreading the cause because it attracts a lot of attention.
The color pink is extremely common and prevalent. The type of cancer that it represents is very common and often misunderstood. The pink ribbon signifies breast cancer. Breast cancer is very common in the women nowadays. Some conservative societies of the world consider breast cancer to be a taboo disease. A lot of awareness campaigns have been carried out to make people aware about breast cancer. Breast cancer awareness is spread through many campaigns. The month of October is dedicated to spreading awareness about breast cancer. People all over the world wear pink ribbons and show their support to the women who may currently be suffering from the disease.
During the month of breast cancer awareness, people wear these ribbons and show their support and love to the brave women who have survived the battle of fighting breast cancer . They honor these women and encourage everyone who may still be fighting the disease to fight harder and win the battle against breast cancer.
This pink colored ribbon has become very powerful in spreading the message about breast cancer. The color pink is very strongly associated to women and girls. Since breast cancer is primarily a problem of women, the pink color thus been attributed to this cause.
Breast cancer affects women and girls of all ages all across the world. It has lead to several deaths and has separated families from their mothers, sisters and their daughters. The cancer has become very common since the past few years. With technological development and advancements in medical science however, the number of women giving up their lives due to breast cancer has significantly decreased.
The color teal is a representative of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer basically originates in ovaries of a woman. Ovaries are a pair on either side of the uterus in the woman’s reproductive system. Ovaries produce eggs and secrete hormones. Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose until it gets to the abdomen. Cancer occurring in ovaries is not as common as cancer occurring in breasts. Ovarian cancer is still however quite prevalent. These types of cancers are increasing a lot. By giving the color of teal to ovarian cancer, it has spread awareness in people about this disease. There are social organizations which work towards collecting funds from people in order to sponsor patients with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer community has made teal color an integral part of their cancer community . All the people support patients who have been affected by ovarian cancer by wearing teal colored ribbons. Ovarian cancer can become highly fatal once it reaches its last stage.
The color peach symbolizes uterine cancer which occurs in a woman’s uterus. Uterine cancer is of two types, endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma cancer. Uterine cancer is not as prevalent anymore as other kinds of cancer. Cases of uterine cancer are not heard very often. If anyone does get affected with uterine cancer however, their lives may be at huge risks. It is one of those types of cancers which are very hard to detect. They often don’t get detected early and hence can be very dangerous for the patient. Since it gets detected late, the cancer is usually on the last of its stages and become untreatable. Peach colored ribbons are worn to indicate this type of cancer and keep reminding the women of their responsibility to take care of their health. Such ribbons spread awareness about the disease to people who might have not known about it earlier. It helps and enables them to understand the disease and even better and motivates them to learn about it further. For the people who do know about the disease already, the teal colored ribbon will remind them of the disease and reinforce in them the spirit of always taking care of their health and noticing any dangerous symptoms in them or their family members.
Teal and White ribbons
These two colors combined are used to represent cervical cancer. Cervical cancer originates from the cervix. This cancer is also hard to detect initially. There are some symptoms that might be experienced by a patient suffering from cervical cancer. But these symptoms are not always too clear. It makes detecting the cancer very difficult in the patient. However if this type of cancer does get diagnosed early, it would be relatively easier to treat it and operate it. As long as a proper technique is used to treat cervical cancer, it could be easily removed. To spread awareness about cervical cancer in women, teal and white ribbons are used for symbolizing it.
Other color ribbons
Other colors used to represent different cancers are:
- Grey colored ribbons are used to symbolize brain cancer.
- Periwinkle ribbons are used to symbolize cancer in the stomach
- Silver ribbon represents gynecological cancer in women or men
- Black ribbons are a symbol or melanoma.
- Dark blue ribbons are used to represent colon cancer.
- Sky blue ribbons represent prostate cancer.
- Light green colored ribbons symbolize kidney cancer.
- Lime colored ribbons symbolize non Hodgkin lymphoma
- Gold colored ribbons are for children affected with cancer and it thus represent childhood cancer.
- Eye cancer is represented by dark green colored ribbons.
- Kidney cancer is also sometimes represented by orange color
- Burgundy and white dual colored bands are a symbol of head and neck cancer.
- Dark orange colored ribbons represent leukemia
- The three colored ribbon of colors teal, blue and pink represent thyroid cancer.
- Orchid colored ribbons show testicular cancer.
- Dark yellow color represents bone cancer.
- Multiple myeloma is represented by the color burgundy.
- Liver cancer is represented by emerald colored ribbons.
- Purple colored ribbons are used to represent pancreatic cancer. Since it’s close to lavender, this color is also sometimes used for all types of cancers.
All of these colors basically help in distinguishing the several different types of cancers that exist. These ribbons might seem worthless to someone who doesn’t understand the intensity of the disease for the patient himself and his loved ones. People who do however understand it know how much every ounce of support can mean to a cancer fighter and his family or friends even if it’s shown through a mere ribbon. It also serves in spreading awareness of the different types of cancer most people might not even be aware of. Cancer ribbons are a motivation for cancer fighters and their loved ones to keep them going through hard times.