Cancer Ribbon Colors, Meanings, and Months

Showing Support and Raising Awareness

Cancer ribbons are used to raise awareness about specific cancers (or even all cancers) and show support for those facing them. There are more than 50 cancer ribbons that represent individual cancers and other related issues, like cancer caregivers and bone marrow transplants.

Cancer-Related Ribbons Colors
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Some well-known cancer ribbons include the pink ribbon for breast cancer and the purple ribbon for pancreatic cancer.

This article lists cancer ribbon colors, the cancers they are meant to represent, and associated awareness months.

Cancer Ribbon Colors and Meanings
Cancer Ribbon Awareness Month
Appendix cancer Amber  
Bladder cancer Yellow, purple, and navy blue May
Bone cancer Yellow July
Bone marrow transplant Green  
Brain cancer Gray May
Breast cancer Pink  
Breast cancer (inflammatory) Hot pink  
Breast cancer (hereditary) Teal and pink  
Breast cancer with gynecologic cancers Teal and pink  
Breast cancer (metastatic) Teal, pink, and green
Breast cancer (in men) Pink and blue October
Cancer survivor Lavender June
Carcinoid syndrome Black and white zebra stripes November
Caregiver Purple November
Cervical cancer Teal and white January
Childhood cancer Gold September
Colon cancer Dark blue March
Colorectal cancer Dark blue March
Endometrial cancer Peach  
Esophageal cancer Light purple/periwinkle April
Ewing's sarcoma Yellow July
Gallbladder/bile duct cancer Green February
Gastric (stomach) cancer Periwinkle blue November
Glioblastoma Gray  
Gynecological cancer  Purple September
Head and neck cancer Burgundy and ivory, or red and white April
Hodgkin lymphoma  Violet September
Kidney cancer  (renal cell carcinoma) Green or orange March
Laryngeal cancer Burgundy and white  
Leiomyosarcoma Purple July
Leukemia Orange September
Liver cancer Emerald or jade green October
Lung cancer Pearl, clear, or white November
Lymphedema Light blue  
Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin) Lime green September
Melanoma Black May
Mesothelioma Pearl  
Myeloma Burgundy March
Myeloproliferative diseases Orange and red  
Neuroendocrine cancers Black and white zebra-stripes November
Oral cancer Burgundy and white April
Osteosarcoma Yellow July
Ovarian cancer Teal September
Pancreatic cancer Purple November
Pharyngeal cancer Burgundy and white April
Prostate cancer Light blue September
Rectal cancer Blue March
Retinoblastoma White  
Sarcoma Yellow July
Skin cancer Black May
Skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) Red and white May
Small intestine cancer Periwinkle blue  
Testicular cancer Purple (orchid) April
Throat cancer Burgundy and white  
Thyroid cancer Blue, pink, and teal September
Uterine cancer Peach September
Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia Pearl  

Ribbons for All Cancers

A light purple or lavender ribbon is used to represent esophageal cancer and cancer survivors, as noted above, but it is also often used to represent cancers as a whole.

Sometimes, many different ribbons are combined together to represent all cancers.

Zebra-Print Ribbons

Uncommon or rare cancers may be represented by a black-and-white zebra print ribbon.

The choice of the zebra print comes from a common saying in medicine: When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra. In other words, the most likely diagnosis is usually the right one.

However, that is not always the case. The zebra print ribbon is meant to draw attention to the fact that something that appears to be one thing could very well be something far less likely.

"Zebra" cancers are rare. But when you add occurrences of all of them together, they are actually quite common.

Cancer Ribbon Differences

It's important to note that a 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 nonprofit groups who advocate for a particular type of cancer. For example, a white or pearl ribbon is used to represent lung cancer, but turquoise is the color of an American Lung Association initiative.

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. Your support for cancer education and compassion will not go unnoticed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is cancer awareness month?

    Each type of cancer has a certain month dedicated to raising awareness of it. For example, breast cancer awareness month is in October.

  • What color is the ribbon for lung cancer?

    The ribbon for lung cancer is pearl, clear, or white. You may see people wearing this ribbon in November, the cause's awareness month.

  • What does the black ribbon mean for cancer?

    A black ribbon is used to signify melanoma and skin cancer. However, ribbons that are black and white (zebra print) represent uncommon or rare diseases and cancers.

1 Source
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Association for Cancer Research. Cancer awareness months.

Additional Reading

By Lynne Eldridge, MD
 Lynne Eldrige, MD, is a lung cancer physician, patient advocate, and award-winning author of "Avoiding Cancer One Day at a Time."