Colors and Months for Cancer Ribbons

A Bright, Meaningful Way to Raise Awareness

Cancer ribbons are a great way to raise awareness, but we have heard from people who are embarrassed when they do not recognize a particular colored ribbon. The good news is that most people are understanding if you don’t know which ribbon color goes with which cancer, as there are a lot. 

But for those of you who wish to familiarize themselves, here’s a list of cancer ribbons that are used to raise awareness for common cancers, as well as the awareness months some have associated with them.

Cancer-Related Ribbons Colors
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Colors and Months for Cancer-Related Ribbons

A light purple or lavender ribbon is generally used to represent all cancers as a whole. Sometimes, instead, many different ribbons are combined together to represent all cancers.

Uncommon or rare cancers may be represented in a few ways—either with a light purple ribbon or a black and white zebra print ribbon. The zebra stands for a common saying in medicine. In a field of horses, you are most likely to see horses, but many who are living with cancer realize that "zebras" (rare cancers) occur as well, and when you add all of these uncommon and rare cancers together, they are actually quite common.

It's important to note that specific cancer may be represented by more than one ribbon color and that this can vary depending on where you live. Some ribbon colors also represent specific non-profit groups who advocate for a particular type of cancer. For example, a white or pearl ribbon is used to represent lung cancer, but turquoise ribbons are used by one of the lung cancer organizations.

In addition, there are months dedicated to certain types of cancer, also listed below. June is National Cancer Survivor month

A Word From Verywell

If you or a loved one has cancer, or you simply want to raise awareness for cancer (or all cancers), wearing a colored ribbon can be your first step. In the end, your support for cancer education and compassion will not go unnoticed. 

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