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HEALTH—OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Senator Birmingham, also on behalf of Senators Bernardi, Edwards, Fawcett, Fisher and Cash, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 628—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a month to both raise awareness of gynaecological cancer as well as ensure all women know the symptoms of this silent killer,


  (ii) Ovarian Cancer Australia invites the community to raise important funds for support programs and resources for women affected by this cancer and for a national program for ovarian cancer,

  (iii) 2012 Teal Ribbon Day is 29 February 2012, a day when all Australians are encouraged to wear a teal ribbon to support Ovarian Cancer Australia's research programs, and

  (iv) on Valentine's Day, Ovarian Cancer Australia encourages Australian women to KISS (Know the Important Signs and Symptoms of ovarian cancer), recognising the important symptoms of this cancer helps in early detection, which is critical as all too often this disease is only detected in its advanced stages;

 (b) recognises:

  (i) more than 1 200 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, three women every day,

  (ii) approximately 800 Australian women will lose their battle with this disease in 2012, one woman every 11 hours, and

  (iii) that early detection of ovarian cancer is critical as 70 per cent of ovarian cancers are advanced at the time of diagnosis and are difficult to treat at this stage; there is no detection test for this disease, and pap smears do not detect it;

 (c) commends the work of the late Senator Jeannie Ferris, whose courageous and tenacious work to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, as well as cervical and other gynaecological cancers, was also a deeply personal cause:

  (i) after being diagnosed with the disease in October 2005, Senator Ferris was instrumental in launching a parliamentary inquiry into gynaecological cancers,

  (ii) this inquiry culminated in the 2006 report, Breaking the silence: a national voice for gynaecological cancers,

  (iii) the findings of the report received unanimous support for increased awareness of, and resources for, gynaecological cancers across both major parties,

  (iv) as a result of the report the then Minister for Health and Ageing, Mr Tony Abbott, and the Howard Government also agreed to provide a federal government grant of $1 million for the establishment of a National Centre for Gynaecological Cancers in 2007, and

  (v) although Senator Ferris succumbed to her illness in April 2007, her significant legacy was celebrated, and continues to be remembered, by her family, friends, colleagues, the medical community and others who are touched by ovarian, cervical and other gynaecological cancers; and

 (d) notes that today the Jeannie Ferris, Cancer Australia Churchill Fellowship in Gynaecological Cancers is an annual fellowship aimed at reducing the effect of gynaecological cancers on those who are touched by them, whether they be a health professional, a sufferer themselves, a family member or carer.

Question put and passed.