Cancer Type Awareness by Colors

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the disease is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, that’s 1 over 6 deaths due to cancer.

Medical experts agree that cancer is preventable if the patient undergoes early screening and diagnosis. Thus, the importance of awareness becomes more apparent.

Organizations and groups that support cancer patients and work hard to increase cancer awareness use color ribbons to distinguish a specific type of cancer.
As a general rule, lavender is used to support all cancers. To know which colors correspond to a type of cancer, check this out!

  • Appendix Cancer – Color: Amber
This type of cancer is considered extremely rare, with 1 diagnosis per 500,000 people worldwide annually. It was found that this cancer is common among people in their 40s and 50s, affecting mostly men than women.
  • Bladder Cancer – Color: Blue, marigold and purple
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in men. In the Philippines, it is the 18th most common cancer for both men and women, with 1,541 new cases estimated in 2018, according to Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN). The risk of developing this type of cancer increases with age. According to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN), smokers are two times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.
  • Brain Tumor – Color: Gray
It is estimated that in the Philippines, brain tumor accounts to 2.12 percent of deaths due to cancer, or 1,660 deaths recorded in 2018. Some brain tumors may be malignant, others benign. But all can negatively affect a patient’s life. The Brain Tumor Awareness Month is held every May, where there are programs, charity events, walks and fundraisings held around the country to increase awareness and seek support for patients battling brain tumor.
  • Breast Cancer – Color: Pink
Every October, pink ribbons flood the streets for the celebration of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This type of cancer remains one of the leading cancer deaths among women. However, the numbers of new cases have been declining and survival rates are improving.
  • Carcinoid Cancer – Color: Zebra print
This is a lesser known type of cancer affecting more than 12,000 people every year. Carcinoid tumors grow slowly, generally starting in the endocrine system.
  • Cervical Cancer – Color: Teal and white
About 7,190 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer last year. However, this is highly preventable by regular screening during their check-up with their OB-Gyne. Organizations like the National Cervical Cancer Coalitioniv, Foundation of Women’s Cancer and Cervical Cancer Action support the Cervical Cancer Awareness every January to raise aware
  • Childhood Cancer all types – Color: Yellow
Childhood Cancer Awareness month is observed in September. According to The Global Improvement of Childhood Cancer Care in the Philippines by Dr. Julius A. Lecciones from the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, “The crude rate for childhood cancer in the Philippines is 103 annual new cases per million children, which allows prediction of a minimum of 3,500 new cases of childhood cancer. This is the equivalent of almost 10 children who will be diagnosed with cancer each day.”
  • Colon Cancer – Color: Blue
The Colon Cancer Alliance emphasized that the risk of developing colon cancer is 1 in
20. Early detection can make a difference and help improve the survival rate of a patient. March is designated as the Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Endometrial Cancer – Color: Peach
This type of cancer is diagnosed in more than 4,000 Filipino women in 2018, according to GLOBOCAN. Endometrial cancer is one type of cancer that the Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month supports every September.
  • Esophageal Cancer – Color: Periwinkle
This cancer is most common in men than in women. About 800 new cases are reported every year in the Philippines for this type of cancer, according to the 2015
Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates.Every April, the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association encourages people to wear the color periwinkle and to
plant the flower by the same name to show support and raise awareness of the disease.
  • Gallbladder Cancer – Color: Green
Every year there are 1, 016 new cases diagnosed based from a 5-year prevalence study by GLOBOCAN. Survival rate depends on the area where the cancer is located. It’s difficult to detect this type of cancer in the early stages. Only 1 in 5 cases are diagnosed in the early stage of cancer development.
  • Head and Neck Cancer – Color: Burgundy and ivory
The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance holds a weeklong awareness campaign every year, running from April 2 to 9. It promotes awareness through free screenings and education.
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma – Color: Violet
This cancer affects the lymphatic system, which forms part of our immune system. Both Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma can affect the bone marrow, blood, lymphatic tissue and lymph nodes. Both are malignancies of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells which help the body fight infections and other diseases. In Hodgkin lymphoma, Reed-Sternberg cells are present- these are mature B cells that have grown large and malignant. In contrast, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be derived from both B and T cells, and can arise in the lymph nodes and other organs of the body.
  • Kidney Cancer – Color: Orange
It is estimated that more than 4,700 Filipinos are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year. One type of genetic disorder, the von Hippel-Lindau disease, is often associated with a high risk of kidney cancer. Other factors include obesity and smoking. Early detection can improve the survival rate of the patient.
  • Leukemia – Color: Orange
This type of cancer is also represented by the color orange. Every September, organizations and groups come together to support advocacies of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  • Liver Cancer – Color: Emerald
This is a very aggressive type of cancer. It has a prevalence of more than 7,400 cases every year. Survival rate is promising with the help of early detection.
  • Lung Cancer – Color: White
Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer both for men and women. Smokers have higher risk, but non-smokers are also at risk. Every November, organizations like International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, Lungevity Foundation and the Lung Cancer Alliance conduct programs to support patients, survivors, their loved ones, caregivers in the search of a cure for this disease.
  • Melanoma and skin cancer – Color: Black
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Expect supporters to be wearing black ribbons. Fundraising events are held in the hope to increase awareness about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer.
  • Ovarian Cancer – Color: Teal
Ovarian cancer is commemorated twice a year, one in May for the World Ovarian Cancer Day, and the other in September for the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Pancreatic Cancer – Color: Purple
This is one of the deadliest cancers among men and women. One of the reasons is that it’s rarely detected early. According to the National Pancreatic Foundation, one-year survival rate is at 28 percent while five-year survival rate is only 7 percent.
  • Prostate Cancer – Color: Light Blue
This is the second most common cancer in men, affecting almost 15,000 Filipino males every year, according to GLOBOCAN. It is completely treatable if detected early. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Regular screening for men is important especially when they reach 40 years old.
  • Stomach Cancer – Color: Periwinkle
Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world. Over 1 million cases are recorded every year. In the Philippines, 2018 figures show that 3,099 Filipinos were diagnosed with stomach cancer according to GLOBOCAN.
  • Testicular Cancer – Color: Orchid
Testicular cancer affects young men ages 15 to 34. Promoting early detection and self- checks are important to provide proper treatment to patient and improve survival rate.
  • Thyroid Cancer – Color: Teal, pink and blue
Cancer of the thyroid is common, with about 18,135 new cases, also according to GLOBOCAN.

Early detection and screening are important steps in improving the survival rate of patients. In the Philippines, there is a movement that supports and advocates early testing for patients who are at risk or who have been observing symptoms associated with cancer.

Hope from Within is a movement that symbolizes the optimism that novel treatments like immunotherapy can bring to cancer patients, particularly for lung cancer. Furthermore, it focuses on ongoing informational and educational forums on the importance of early detection for malignancy.

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