Awareness Color: Lavender
Awareness Month/Day(s): Varies
Cancer, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of various diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors do not grow uncontrollably, do not invade neighboring tissues, and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that afflict humans.
Determining what causes cancer is complex. Many things are known to increase the risk of cancer, including tobacco use, certain infections, radiation, lack of physical activity, obesity, and environmental pollutants. These can directly damage genes or combine with existing genetic faults within cells to cause the disease. Approximately five to ten percent of cancers are entirely hereditary.
A Lavender Ribbon has been used to designate General Cancer Awareness. This can acknowledge any of the cancers that do not have a specific awareness color, or it may be used to represent a variety of different cancers that families might have experienced. Many of the items below are designed and created especially for general cancer awareness, as noted by the lavender ribbon. Some of the products are not as specific but will provide humor, inspiration, and strength for all cancer survivors and their families and friends.