Breast Cancer Ribbon



The breast cancer ribbon, has a worldwide recognition. Ask any woman, and she will identify with the breast cancer ribbon and know what it symbolises. But I doubt many would know the history behind the pink ribbon. Considering that breast disease is one of the womens health issues that we must know about, I thought it might be interesting to note the history behind this pink symbol.

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Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree

In 1979, Penney Laingen had a husband being held hostage in Iran. She felt inspired by the song "tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree" so tied yellow ribbons around her trees in the garden. She wanted her husband home! Other Americans started to do the same thing, putting yellow ribbons around their trees, gathering momentum and support for Penny in her mission.

A few years later, the yellow ribbon idea was used to support soldiers fighting in the Gulf war.

Red Ribbon

AIDS activists thought the yellow ribbon idea could became a symbol of support, so encouraged the concept, tweaked it, and introduced the world to red ribbons.

Ribbons were in, ribbons were cool. Everyone wanted to wear one.

Peach Ribbon

In 1990 Charlotte Harley used the same idea when her daughter, sister and grandmother were all diagnosed with breast cancer. She began making peach ribbons to raise awareness and attached them to cards containing information about the National Cancer Institutes annual budget. People were encouraged to contact legislators and also to wear her ribbons as a show of support and to raise awareness of this breast disease.


breast cancer pink ribbon

Pink Ribbon

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation had a Race for the Cure run in New York, where the Foundation gave out pink visors to the runners. In 1991 the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to give out pink ribbons to be worn by the participants instead.

In 1991 Evelyn Lauder, Estee Lauder senior corporate vice president, and Alexandra Penney, editor in chief of Self magazine, were planning an article to put in the Self magazine, for October, breast cancer month.

They approached Charlotte Harley for the use of her peach ribbons, but Charlotte felt it was too commercial. Discussions were had and a independent solution was reached. The ribbons would be pink and became famous for being the breast cancer ribbon, starting universal recognition and participation.

Side By Side Supporting Womens Health Issues

The pink ribbon bonds women in support of those who have breast cancer, it is a united cause. The colour pink is a feminine colour, and looks pretty, suiting everyone who wears them. It's amasing that a little thing could build a global sisterhood. Women with women, standing united, all over the world. Women in different countries, speaking different languages, but all united with breast cancer.

Pink Ribbon women have a passionate, proactive drive for support, education, and raising awareness about the signs of breast cancer. They encourage women to do their breast exam and share their stories, empowering us.

Is not unusual to see a pink ribbon on a male. Breast cancer is a disease that touches their life too. Usually it is their wife, partner, mother, daughter, sister or friend that has breast cancer. However, it is possible to have male breast cancer, so when a man wears the breast cancer ribbon, not only is he promoting awareness and supporting women, but he is also acknowledging that male breast cancer is an issue that also needs to be recognised too.



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