Meaning
History of the Trend
Best Body Parts for the Breast Cancer Tattoo
Styles
Male and Female Designs
Famous People Supporting the Trend
30 Best Breast Cancer Tattoo Sketches

Breast cancer awareness tats are meant to commemorate the ones that stayed strong and went cancer. If you have a family member that is a survivor, or you have had cancer yourself, you will love the idea of commemorating this struggle on your skin. Both girls and guys can wear this type of tattoo.

“F*CK cancer”

The strongly-worded quote “FUCK cancer” is written in typewriter font, with the letters C,K and a replaced with the symbolic pink breast cancer awareness ribbons.

Blue Butterfly Wings Breast Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

The pink ribbon is used as the body of a blue butterfly.  In Christian symbolism, blue butterflies stand for the resurrection and rebirth of Jesus Christ, or transformation.

Taurus Queen Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

A female with a decorated bullhead headdress has a cancer ribbon wrapped around her neck.

Cancer Ribbon and White Anemone Flowers

The above breast cancer tattoo design features white anemones. In the language of flowers, they symbolize protection against ill will and evil.

Nautical-theme Breast Cancer Tattoo Idea

Nautical symbols, such as lighthouses for guidance, and anchors for stability,  are good choices in creating your breast cancer tattoo design.

“Survivor”

The word “Survivor” written in script is overlaid the pink ribbon among flowers.

Robin Bird

Robin birds symbolize renewal and rebirth; consider adding them when thinking up cancer tattoo ideas.

Pink Pastel Heart Butterfly

On the wearer’s forearms are breast cancer tattoos featuring a heart-shaped ribbon with pink and purple pastel butterfly wings.

Spring-themed Cancer Tattoo Ideas

In the image above, the pink cancer ribbon is rendered among spring-themed symbols such as a blue butterfly, a white anemone, and a purple stargazer lily.

Ribbon Stalk Rose

The cancer ribbon is depicted as the stalk of a red rose. Together they form an infinity symbol.

Date Memorial Ribbon

This tattoo design features the death anniversary of a lost loved one on the pink cancer ribbon trailed by black butterflies. In many countries, butterflies are known as symbols of death.

Survival Remembrance Cancer Tattoo

Over a 3d pink ribbon is the word Survivor to show that the wearer has recovered from their illness.

“MOM MY HERO”

Wrapped around an anchor is the breast cancer ribbon with the words “MOM MY HERO” written on. Anchor tattoos mean stability.

Quotes and Dates Cancer Tattoo Ideas

One popular cancer tattoo idea is combining quotes and dates, like the one above, where a strongly worded quote is combined with the date of death of a loved one.

It would be wrong to say that pink ribbon can only be worn by women; I can show you some amazing ideas for both sexes and a variety of styles to please every customer. Talk to your artist about the creative ideas that you have and you will together come up with a concept and a design that you will be proud of.

Mother and Daughter Remembrance Cancer Ribbon Tattoos

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Cancer can run in families, as can be gleaned from the tattoo design above, where both the mother and the daughter had different kinds of cancer, as signified by the different colored ribbons.

Birds and Roses Cancer Tattoo Ideas

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A red cancer ribbon is being carried by two robin birds, with roses for added details.

Meaning

Pink is a very feminine color. About 100 different companies worldwide have some kind of a campaign to support the cause. Charity events like that are very popular, require little investment and have a great outcall among customers.

Religious Imagery and Passages

A cross is paired with a ribbon carrying the bible passage Philippians 4:13, which reads “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”, which shows how their belief gives the wearer strength.

Angel Girl and Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

A cartoon-style four-winged angel dances with the cancer ribbon on as if wearing a scarf.

Multi-dimensional Cancer Tattoo Idea

A cancer ribbon tattoo done in a 3d-style made to look as if the ribbon was among torn flesh.

“live”

The word live was drawn to look like ribbons on her back.

Pastel Watercolor Hearts and Ribbons

Red hearts and cancer ribbons were done in watercolors and designed to look like rough brush strokes.

Cherry Blossom-Theme Cancer Tattoo Design

A cancer ribbon seems to disintegrate into cherry blossom petals scattering in the wind.

Yellow Ribbon and Anchor

A yellow cancer ribbon, for sarcoma/bone cancer, wraps around a gray anchor.

Ribbon and Feather Remembrance Cancer Tattoo

The wearer commemorates his grandmother’s life and passing with a purple ribbon with an attached feather, and her dates of birth and death written on.

Flaming Heart Cancer Tattoo Design

A heart with orange flames spewing from a spout above wrapped in a red ribbon over blue flames is done in the traditional American tattoo style.

Infinity Faith Cancer Tattoo Design

A cancer ribbon and the word faith are positioned to make an infinity sign.

Pastel Watercolor Wash Cancer Tattoo

A pink to purple ribbon is shown over a pink-purple-orange watercolor wash background.

Green Ribbon and Cross

An emerald green liver cancer ribbon goes around a cross and adorns the wearer’s front.

Water-theme Memorial Tattoo

The name and date of death are written on a water-themed blue cross in this cancer tattoo idea.

Aquarelle Butterfly Cancer Tattoo

This cancer tattoo idea is done in watercolors to give the blue-to-purple butterfly wings a gradient effect.

Angel Wings Cancer Tattoo

A dark blue colon cancer ribbon is drawn with shaded angel wings.

Angel Wing Memorial Tattoo Design

The above memorial tattoo had a winged cancer ribbon with a small heart in the loop. The quote “Dad I was your angel, now you are mine” is written above, with the father’s birth and death dates below.

Watercolor Sketch Cancer Tattoo

A pink cancer ribbon with a rough sketch outline and done in watercolor is featured in this cancer tattoo.

“This Too Shall Pass”

The quote “This Too Shall Pass” is written in black script and cuts across a pastel gradient-colored cancer ribbon.

Filigree Butterfly Cancer Tattoo

Filigree-style red and black line butterfly wings are added to a red cancer ribbon in this cancer tattoo idea.

Ribbon, Needle, and Thread

The pink looped ribbon is rendered onto the wearer as if being sewn to their skin, the needle drawn being embedded into their flesh.

Quote and Lotus

A lotus, often used as a metaphor for being a better person, is paired with a blue cancer ribbon, with the words strength and survival written in dark script.

Hope Ribbon Heart

Below the word hope is a red-to-blue gradient ribbon and a black curved line meeting to make a heart shape.

Parent Support Cancer Tattoo

The wearer show’s their support with their mother’s battle with cancer with the quote “My mom’s battle is my battle” beside a cancer ribbon with some filigree details.

Quote and Ribbon Celtic Butterfly

Butterflies are the symbol of the soul in Irish culture, so Celtic butterflies could mean transformation, creation, and life after death. In the image above, the words warrior and survivor are added to describe the wearer.

Window Autumn Scene Ribbon

The ribbon is filled in with autumn-time branches over a pink and red batik-print background. The style employed made the design look as if through a cut-out or a window.

Ribbon Halves Heart Cancer Tattoo Design

In this memorial cancer tattoo design, a pink and a blue ribbon meet to make a heart, with the initials of the sick relative beside their respective colors.

Breast Cancer Ribbon and Purple Butterflies

Purple butterflies fly around a pink breast cancer ribbon with aquarelle purple shading.

Some claim the trend has been commercialized but whatever the reasoning behind the event it helped raise awareness and collect more money for the breast cancer research.

Hope Ribbon Cancer Tattoo

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The word hope is written scripted in black ink, with the colored cancer tattoo taking place of the letter ‘o’.

Praying Hands Wrapped in Pink Ribbon

breast cancer tattoo hands

A pair of hands together in prayer is wrapped in a pink cancer ribbon tattoo.

Traditional shade for the ribbon in the basic 150 pinks and it is pretty easy to recreate this shape and color in the tattoo. Wearing this design in a visible place will send out a clear message to people. It means support, strength, and sympathy to women.

“Mom” Breast Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

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To honor the wearer’s mother, the word Mom cuts across a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.

History of the Trend

As a symbolic pink ribbon had first arrived in 1992, when Charlotte Haley, the granddaughter, sister and mother of the women that died of cancer had made some peach colored ribbon loops in her own living room and started giving them out in her supermarket. Later this idea has been picked up by the Estee Lauder Company, and pink ribbons have been distributed in the New York shops.

2 estee-lauder-world-pink

Now it is a very popular design as people feel the need to raise awareness and declare their stand on cancer issues. First, it was mostly worn by the cancer survivors, but later it got popular with supporters as well. These days it has become a unisex symbol that is usually proudly displayed to the public.

Native American-style Hummingbird

In the image above, the hummingbird is drawn in the Pacific Northwest Native American art style. Hummingbird tattoos hold the meaning of overcoming hardship.

Color Cartoon Dragonfly

A great addition to cancer tattoo ideas is the dragonfly. Dragonflies signify transformation, freedom, and strength in many cultures.

Heart and Butterflies Cancer Tattoo

A pastel pink and purple heart is designed with a bright pink cancer ribbon, with small white swallow-tail butterflies flying around it.

Detailed Robin and Ribbon Cancer Tattoo

A detailed robin bird carries a pink cancer ribbon in its beak.

Blue Butterfly Wrist Cancer Tattoo

A blue monarch butterfly is paired together with a pink ribbon in this cancer tattoo design.

Matching Family Cancer Tattoos

This family of four don matching cancer tattoos on their wrists of a pink ribbon and a black arch meeting to make a heart.

Bejeweled Dagger and Quote

Wrapped around the ornate dagger is the quote”FIGHT LIKE A GIRL”. Since breast cancer is more common to women than men, it means women have great strength.

 Boxing-inspired Cancer Tattoo Idea

The above image shows boxing gloves connected by the pink breast cancer tattoo and the scores “MOM:2” and “CANCER:2” signifying that the wearer’s mother has survived cancer twice.

Cancer Care Bear Tattoo

Care Bears are an American cartoon show starring colorful bears with specialties and special abilities. The tattoo above features a Care Bear with a Breast Cancer Ribbon on its chest.

Matching Panda Tattoos

Pandas can be symbols of protection, which makes this majestic endangered animal a good cancer tattoo idea for you.

Halo Butterfly Memorial Tattoo

A glittery butterfly with a matching halo flies over a cancer ribbon with the birth and death dates of the relative being honored with this memorial tattoo.

Butterfly Dream Catcher Cancer Tattoo

In Native American culture, dream catchers are protectors of dreams, filtering good and bad dreams.

Detailed Angel Cancer Tattoo

A detailed depiction of a black and white angel on tiptoes with the pink cancer ribbon looped around her is featured in this tattoo design.

Detailed Black Line Elephant

Elephants can symbolize power, strength, and longevity; traits that are wanted to be embodied by people with such a difficult illness such as cancer, which is why it makes for a great cancer tattoo design idea.

Black Line Sunflower and Colored Cancer Ribbon

A black and white sunflower has a colored pink ribbon looped among the petals. Sunflowers can symbolize hope.

Watercolor Splash Hummingbird

A “blurry” gray hummingbird is rendered over splashes of watercolor, a cancer ribbon clutched in its legs.

Simple Half-heart Scrollwork Cancer Tattoo Idea

One half of the heart is a red cancer ribbon the other done in black line scrollwork.

Watercolor Butterfly Flutter

A flutter, or group of butterflies, is done on aquarelle and pastelle colors, with the biggest butterfly having a cancer ribbon for the body.

Watercolor Anchor and Pink Cancer Ribbon

An anchor with a ribbon is contrasted with a dark blue watercolor runoff background, the word hope written in script above it.

Best Body Parts for the Breast Cancer Tattoo

Girls usually prefer to wear their breast cancer tats on the lower arm or wrist where it will be visible. A small pink ribbon design would always look appropriate, and the intricate soft curve of the loop works well with a soft and gentle female arm. Some women choose to have it on the shoulder or left side. The design is pretty universal and works well with other tattoos.

Colored Sunflower Cancer Tattoo

A colored sunflower has a pink ribbon acting as its leaf.

Black Work Owl and Colored Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

A flying barn owl done in blackwork holds a brightly colored pink cancer ribbon in its claws. In many cultures, it is believed that owls can talk to the departed, and are the protectors or guardians of the dead.

Handcuff and Cancer Ribbon

Gray handcuffs are looped with a heart-shaped cancer ribbon over a blue gradient background. The quote “My Mom, My Hero” is added to the design for further detail.

“My Mom, My Hero”

Another example of boxing-themed cancer tattoo ideas, a pair of boxing gloves are hanging on a cancer ribbon, with “My Mom, My Hero” written above and below.

“BREAST CANCER CAN STICK IT!”

The quote “BREAST CANCER CAN STICK IT!” is done in chunky block lettering around the black line art of woman playing the drums, abstractly colored in shades of pink, purple, and blue.

Guys can wear their pink ribbon tats on the shoulders. Some choose to wear it on the left side close to the heart as a commemoration for the breast cancer survivor relative. As I said before, the breast cancer tattoo element is easily woven into a bigger design. You can add lettering, a famous quote or other elements. There are some examples of the pink ribbon being woven into a tribal shoulder or back tattoo which is an awesome idea.

Styles

If you have thought everything through and want to get a pink ribbon-themed tattoo to think of the following styles:

Photorealism, 

The cancer ribbon with the word STRENGTH written on it is wrapped around a photorealistic purple rose.

American traditional,

breast cancer tattoos american traditional

Done in the traditional American tattoo style, this anchor and ribbon cancer tattoo design is colored vividly using bright, saturated colors.

breast cancer tattoo american traditional

This anchor and ribbon pair is done in both black and white and color for a sharp contrast.

Watercolor

A rainbow pastel hummingbird with a pink ribbon is done in pure watercolors with very minimal black line art.

Under a handscript-written beautiful is a pink looped ribbon done in watercolors and made to look as if brushed onto the wearer.

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Black line art of a looped ribbon is colored in splashes of red, orange, green, blue, and purple watercolor.

Graffiti, 

Graffiti-style depictions of a real swan and an origami swan are superimposed over a background of red watercolor and abstract black lines and ribbons.

Fine lines, 

The word still is block lettered over a dotted and fading pink ribbon colored using fine lines.

Tribal.

cancer-tattoo-tribal

A looped ribbon is done in the common black tribal style. Different tribes have characteristic designs unique to their own cultures.

 

Male and Female Designs

Women like to have a smaller intricate design. Add ribbon to the heart or flowers sketch, add more details or quotes. It should be all about you, even if you have found a perfect design online try to customize it because I believe that every tat should be a unique work of art.

“y un día salió el sol tras la batalla”

Along with the dagger is the Spanish phrase yun día salió el sol tras la batalla which translates into “and the sun came out after the battle” in English, meaning that great things will follow getting over great challenges.

Lock and Bow Breast Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

A pink and purple bow and ribbon are locked with a detailed silver lock.

Personification Breast Cancer Ribbon

A breast cancer tattoo is personified as a woman doing a rude hand gesture to show the wearer’s emotions towards cancer.

Breast cancer awareness tattoo can be teamed up with a religious symbol, for example, a cross. Or you can pair it with a fighting symbol like fighter gloves. Add flowers or butterflies as a symbol of life and femininity. Make sure that your artist can come up with a beautiful female ink design.

Haloed Ribbon and Name Scroll

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A red ribbon has a halo over head and a name scroll of a relative in the middle.

Cancer Ribbon Rosary Tattoo

breast cancer tattoo with cross

In the above cancer tattoo design, the ribbon ends with some rosary beads and a small cross.

Male pink ribbon tattoos tend to have a bolder design. Another cool idea is to come up with a grayscale sketch with a pink ribbon as a centerpiece. Adding lettering or dates to the picture will personalize the design even more and add personal significance to it.

Stained Glass-style Dragonfly

In the image, the wings of the dragonfly looped in the ribbon are done in the stained-glass style commonly seen on church windows.

Blue and Purple Detailed Hummingbird

A detailed depiction of a hummingbird with a pink ribbon in its beak is colored in neone blues and purples.

Pink Scrollwork Butterfly Cancer Tattoo

A floral-patterned pink ribbon is designed with elaborate black, pink, and red filigree scrollwork butterfly wings.

Colored Realistic Red Roses

This colored cancer tattoo idea has a pink  tattoo over dewy realistic red roses.

Black Work Sally Cancer Tattoo

Sally is a patchwork “monster” from the famous stop-motion movie, Nightmare Before Christmas. She could often be seen falling to pieces, but she pulls herself together —literally— to get back up again.

 

Famous People Supporting the Trend

You can see the trend for both male and female breast cancer tats gets more and more widespread among young people that want to support the trend.

Traditional American-style Barn Swallow

To sailors, swallow tattoos show the number of nautical miles they’ve traveled. In England, they mean “these fists fly”, meaning the wearer is a good fighter. A fitting cancer tattoo idea, as cancer patients are always “fighting” their illnesses.

Blue Hummingbird Cancer Tattoo

One of the many meanings of hummingbirds in symbolism is longevity and enjoyment of life, which are two things that people with cancer want and live by.

Bird Feather Cancer Ribbon

The back part of the pink looped ribbon is hidden behind a black and white feather, with a silhouette of a flock of flying birds outlining the side.

Pink Butterfly Cancer Ribbon Tattoo

On the wearer’s arm is a breast cancer tattoo of a ribbon with big pink monarch butterfly wings and small straight antennae.

Chandelier-style Black and White Roses and Colored Ribbon

Blackwork roses and a colored pink ribbon are bedazzled with jewels and hanging leaves to make a chandelier-style cancer ribbon tattoo.

For example:

  • A famous blogger Kim Carpenter teamed her ribbon with a Christian cross to commemorate her mom’s an aunt’s fight with cancer. The ribbon serves as the chain for this big, detailed black work cross to emulate the image of a rosary.
    The iconic pink breast cancer ribbon takes place of the letter O in this tattoo to spell out “STRONG”.
  • Michael Hatfield another famous inspirational blogger has a beautiful cancer awareness tattoo with a quote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthened me”. The words “This too shall pass” are written in curling script, reminding the wearer to stay strong and overcome their illness.

A skull with a red ribbon wrapped on its forehead  is used to replace the letter “U” as the tattoo curses out cancer.

  • Blogger named TL B. made it to the CBS news with his right grayscale side rib breast cancer tattoo.

30 Best Breast Cancer Tattoo Sketches