In the United States, there are almost 2 million new cases of cancer every year according to the C.D.C. Cancer can be devastating, and it’s something at the heart of communities across the world. Currently, the United States promotes awareness for over thirty of the most common types of cancer. These dates and awareness colors work to inform and educate the public and support those affected by cancer.
January is home to cervical health awareness month. It is during this time of year that campaigns bring awareness to the 14,000 women that are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. They aim to promote and support women in attaining access to vaccines and proper screening. A proper test would be to perform a PAP test to check for cancerous cells and any Human Papillomaviruses. The cervical cancer awareness colors are teal and white.
February is both gallbladder & bile duct cancer awareness. Gallbladder and bile duct are often difficult to detect. This is due to most cases having little, if any, symptoms that can warn a patient. In later stages, a tumor can lead to symptoms of nausea, pain and jaundice. With most cases being discovered late in the process, it’s important to perform regular abdominal screenings. The color for both types of cancers is green.
March brings awareness to colorectal, kidney, and multiple myeloma cancers. Both colorectal and kidney cancer have a high survival rate due to early screenings and preemptive surgery. As for myeloma, it is a plasma cell illness that is best to detect early so that treatments can be administered to relieve symptoms. Kidney cancer awareness is the color orange or green, whereas colorectal is dark blue. Moreover, Myeloma’s color of awareness is burgundy.
Spring campaigns bring awareness to oral, head, neck, esophageal and testicular cancers. Like most cancers, the key is to perform regular screenings so that doctors can detect and operate at an early stage. It’s more common for these cancers to be diagnosed in men. It’s best to take preventative measures by reducing UV exposure and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. The awareness colors for oral, head, and neck are burgundy and ivory. For esophageal cancer the awareness color is periwinkle, and the flower of the same name is often planted to show support.
May brings awareness to melanoma, skin, bladder and brain cancer. With the sunny days fast approaching, it is always a good idea to get your skin checked by a dermatologist. Skin cancer is diagnosed more than all other cancers combined, it tends to be discovered and treated rather quickly. As for brain and bladder cancers, it’s best to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation and the consumption of carcinogenic chemicals. For brain cancer, the awareness color is gray. While skin cancer is black, bladder cancer’s ribbons are navy blue, purple, and yellow.
While June isn’t home to any particular cancer causes, it does celebrate those that have survived the illness. It is National Cancer Survivor Month and you can support them by supporting the campaign to make cancer research a bigger priority, listening to their stories and amplifying their message.
July is host to sarcoma and bone cancer awareness campaigns. Due to sarcoma affecting the connective tissue of the body, it can be found in any location. Bone cancers are usually found in the soft tissue within bones and tend to overproduce bone and cartilage. This can lead to internal swelling and pain that isn’t remedied by over the counter medicine. The color yellow is representative of awareness for these cancers.
August is promoted as Appendiceal cancer awareness month, which affects a few hundred Americans every year. Usually, symptoms begin to appear later on and can range from nausea, pain and bloating. If it’s caught early, surgery can remove the affected organs. Its ribbon color is amber.
September is filled with seven cancer campaigns. The month includes childhood and leukemia cancer awareness, with its symbolic gold and orange ribbons respectively. Teal represents awareness for ovarian cancer, while prostate cancer is represented by the color of light blue. Lymphoma is lime green and uterine is peach. As for thyroid, it is blue, teal, and pink.
October is known to be pink for breast cancer awareness, as it is one of the most common cancers in women. While more common in women, it can occur in men. Everyone should take time to educate themselves on the symptoms and perform. Liver cancer is also recognized this month, to bring greater awareness to screenings and preventative surgery. Its color is emerald or jade green.
Nearing the end of the year, November is the last month to hold a number of cancer campaigns. Two of which are neuroendocrine and carcinoid cancers that originate from specialized neuroendocrine cells. The awareness ribbons for them are the zebra stripes and blank. November is also the month for lung, which sports the ribbon colors pearl, clear, or white. As for Stomach cancer, its colors are periwinkle and blue. Lastly, periwinkle is tied to purple ribbons. Additionally, this month recognizes the efforts of cancer caregivers and celebrates them with the color plum.
December is the month of generosity and appreciation. There is always a reason to raise awareness and show support, regardless of what month it is. Cancer during the holiday season is particularly difficult for patients, family, and friends. Many hospitals host drives and charity events during this time.