Breast Cancer Review

Pink Ribbons

In 1991, Evelyn H. Lauder, the president and founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Alexandra Penney, the editor of Self Magazine at that time, got together and conceived of using a pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer awareness. They also felt the breast cancer pink ribbon should also stand for the unity of women in surviving and conquering the disease.

Since that time, the pink ribbon has come to mean many things to many different people. For the person in the midst of breast cancer treatment, it can be a symbol of hope. For others, it can be a sign of survival and love. To the people who have lost a loved one to the disease, the breast cancer pink ribbon can be a memorial to that person. It can also mean support for research in finding a cure for breast cancer. Every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people wear the breast cancer pink ribbon as a visible sign for promotion of awareness.

The pink ribbon has had such an impact that countries all over the world have adopted it and are using it to express unity with women globally who may be suffering with the disease. Their efforts are aimed at providing knowledge about early detection of breast cancer and research for a cure. Breast cancer seems to be on the rise in other countries in addition to the U.S., so the breast cancer pink ribbon is part of a positive movement for all women throughout the world.

Interestingly, the pink ribbon is not always made out of fabric anymore. It has become such a well-known and optimistic symbol that it is seen as magnets, stained glass hangings, ceramics, jewelry, and incorporated into artwork. The largest breast cancer pink ribbon was recently made out of pink Post-it Super Sticky Notes on a billboard in Times Square to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Learn how to make your own pink ribbon:
Make a Pink Ribbon


Janet Brown is a medical writer and graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. Her personal experiences with breast cancer have drawn her to her current work developing breast cancer patient education and awareness materials. She currently lives in Georgia.

Breast Cancer Resources

American Cancer Society

People Living With Cancer

United States National Library of Medicine

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Health Coverage from Health Insurance .org

WebMD Health

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

National Cancer Institute

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Foundation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Women’s Information Network Against Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Cancer News On the Net

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

Mothers Supporting Daughters With Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Online

National Breast Cancer Coalition

Breast Cancer Fund

Breast Cancer Action

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Campaign

Cancer BACUP

Canadian Breast Cancer Network

Breast Cancer Society of Canada

Breast Cancer Action – Ottawa

Info Breast Cancer

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

National Breast Cancer Centre

National Breast Cancer Foundation

New South Wales Breast Cancer Institute

Cancer Fundraising Walks
Breast Cancer Foundations
Susan G. Komen
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Runs
Awareness Jewelry
About Pink Ribbons
Breast Cancer Stamps


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