It all started with the infamous yellow LIVESTRONG cancer wristband, which Lance Armstrong set up to shed light on the fight against cancer. Since these cancer wristbands first made an appearance in 2004, they’ve become a common accessory symbolizing hope for a cure against a scary disease that takes on so many different forms in so many different people.

Wearing cancer wristbands is trendy and there are a number of styles from which to choose, including embossed silicone, debossed silicone, and screen printed silicone. Extremely durable and comfortable to wear for an extended amount of time, cancer wristbands are used to raise awareness of many forms of cancer. There are a variety of colors that represent specific types of cancers, including the following:

. Black cancer wristbands represent metastatic breast cancer and skin cancer
. Blue cancer wristbands represent bowel cancer, colon cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and rectal cancer
. Light blue cancer wristbands represent liver cancer
. Orange cancer wristbands represent kidney cancer
. Pink cancer wristbands represent breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, testicular cancer
. Purple cancer wristbands represent general cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer
. Red cancer wristbands represent neck cancer
. White cancer wristbands represent bone cancer and head and neck cancer
. Yellow cancer wristbands represent bladder cancer, childhood cancer, liver cancer and testicular cancer
. Teal cancer wristbands represent cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, gynecological cancer and uterine cancer
. Grey cancer wristbands represent brain cancer

Purple cancer wristbands can also represent cancer survivors and is the selected color for Relay for Life, which is the main volunteer-driven cancer fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.

In addition to the representative colors, there are a variety of messages that can be embossed, debossed or screen printed onto cancer wristbands-some inspirational, some motivating, and some just telling it like it is. Here are a handful of popular examples:

. “Fear Nothing”
. “Fight Like a Girl”
. “Courage”
. “Feel the Power”
. “Live Free, Smoke Free”
. “I survived”
. “Cancer sucks”

You can effectively put cancer wristbands to use in a variety of ways. If you want to raise money for a specific type of cancer, you can host a fundraising event. Every guest who makes a donation receives a cancer wristband. Maybe there’s an organized walk/run to raise money for a specific type of cancer. Every participant who raises a minimum of $20 receives a cancer wristband to wear. You could have an online donation drive, too. Anyone who makes a donation online of $25 or more receives a cancer wristband.

Cancer wristbands can also help raise awareness of one particular person who is fighting for his or her life. To say fighting cancer is expensive is an understatement. Oftentimes, family and friends of a cancer patient will host an auction within the community in hopes of raising money to help cover the medical expenses. Cancer wristbands emblazoned with the name of the person fighting cancer, along with the word, “Hope” can be given as a thank you. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for helping me in this terrifying fight against cancer. Thank you for helping me beat cancer and kick it to the curb!
Wearing cancer wristbands offers more than support to the person who is fighting cancer. It offers strength. They know someone cares. They know an entire community cares. This kind of immense support is a powerful contributor toward healing.

For the supporter, wearing a cancer wristband with their loved one’s name on it makes them feel like they are making a difference-as small as it may be. Let’s face it, when it comes to cancer, most of us feel pretty helpless. Everyone wishes they could do more. Wearing a cancer wristband brings awareness to all who see it. It may catch the eye of a stranger who decides to ask about it to appease his or her curiosity. When you explain about your friend who has cancer, they may feel moved enough to make a donation or wear his or her own cancer wristband. Maybe they know someone who is fighting for their life, too. Maybe the two of you can find a support system with one another.

Cancer wristbands are an inexpensive way to raise awareness of cancer and a highly effective fundraising tool. Both non-profit organizations and cancer patients themselves can reap great rewards from cancer wristbands-the most important of which is support.

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