Senate debates

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Ovarian Cancer

3:41 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I indicate that I will be adding my name and that of Senator Moore to this motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators Bilyk, Polley and Moore, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness among Australian women of the symptoms of ovarian cancer,

(ii) that each year 1 400 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 1 000 will die from the disease – that is one woman every 8 hours, and

(iii) with concern, That the prognosis for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is generally poor due to the advanced stage of most ovarian cancers at the time of diagnosis;

(b) acknowledges that there is no screening program or detection test for ovarian cancer, and That the Pap smear will not detect the disease;

(c) recognises that:

(i) ovarian cancer is not a silent disease and that all women experience symptoms, even in the early stages of the cancer, and

(ii) the four most common symptoms are:

  (A) abdominal or pelvic pain,

  (B) increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating,

  (C) needing to urinate often or urgently, and

  (D) difficulty eating or feeling full quickly;

(d) understands that every Australian woman needs to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer; and

(e) notes the need for greater focus on education and additional research funding to help Australian scientists to find early detection markers and more effective treatments for this disease.

Question agreed to.

3:42 pm

Photo of David BushbyDavid Bushby (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator Cash, I indicate that I will be adding the name of Senator Waters to the motion. I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) February 2015 marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month,

(ii) Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is run every year by Ovarian Cancer Australia and its purpose is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to offer support for the women, their families and friends affected by ovarian cancer, and

(iii) Teal Ribbon Day is commemorated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015, and is a day when all Australians are invited to wear a teal ribbon to show support for ovarian cancer awareness, support and research;

(b) recognises that:

(i) ovarian cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancers in Australia, with more than 1 300 Australian women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, which equates to almost four women each day,

(ii) ovarian cancer has a low survival rate compared to other women's cancers, with more than two thirds of ovarian cancers being advanced at the time of diagnosis and therefore being difficult to treat,

(iii) there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer that provide early detection and many Australian men and women remain unaware of the symptoms of this insidious disease, and

(iv) from 2000 to 2014, the National Health and Medical Research Council allocated over $97 million in funding for research into ovarian cancer, and over $11 million is to be allocated in 2015 to 2018; and

(c) commends Ovarian Cancer Australia for its continuing efforts to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to provide support to those Australians affected by ovarian cancer.

Question agreed to.