What is cancer awareness and why do we need it? If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer then the answer to this question is obvious. You are already aware of cancer and how it has affected your life and that of your family and friends. Whether you are fighting cancer right now or are a survivor, awareness of the disease is likely embedded in your daily life and thoughts. But most people do not think about cancer unless it affects them directly.
To heighten everyone’s understanding of the disease, we acknowledge different types of cancer each calendar month around the world. While fundraisers, health fairs, walk-a-thons and dinners are a great way to gather financial resources to support the research and development of new medicine and treatments the underlying purpose is to get the word out about how to detect cancer in its early stages and to prevent it altogether. Awareness events serve to inform you of the statistics and medical facts you need to know to live a long, healthy life free from cancer.
To better understand how cancer develops it helps to know how it is detected, how it can be genetically passed down from generation to generation and how, as part of cancer prevention, you can take care of your body to regulate the growth of cells to keep them healthy and disease free. Awareness events also provide a venue for everyone to celebrate the life, recovery and survival of the brave women, men, and children who beat the odds every day and to mourn for those who have lost their lives to this disease. Wearing awareness ribbons and joining groups and organizations help to serve this purpose in a public way.
By participating in cancer awareness events we stand beside and fight the disease with others and raise money for new advances in medicine that will bring hope and improved patient care and treatment for generations to come.
September is a month in which we acknowledge a number of different cancers. The list below identifies each type, the colors of their respective awareness ribbons, and a partial list of organizations who support each cause. Depending on where you live there may be other local or regional organizations in addition to these. If you are interested in helping patients and families in September, select a group from this list and contact them to learn more about community events or opportunities to volunteer.
Childhood Cancer Awareness (Gold Ribbon)
- Candlighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
- National Childhood Cancer Foundation
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness (Peach Ribbon)
- Foundation for Women’s Cancer
Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness (Orange and Burgundy Ribbons for Leukemia; Violet and Lime Green Ribbons for Hodgkins Disease)
- The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Ovarian Cancer Awareness (Teal Ribbon)
- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Thyroid Cancer Awareness (Teal, Pink and Blue Ribbon)
- Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association
Prostate Cancer Awareness (Light Blue Ribbon)
- National Prostate Cancer Coalition