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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 304

Ovarian Cancer

Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:58): My question is to the Minister for Employment and Minister for Women, Senator Cash. February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and I note that many of my colleagues around the chamber are wearing the teal coloured ribbon in recognition of this. Will the minister please inform the Senate of work being undertaken to fight ovarian cancer and raise awareness of its symptoms?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:58): Thank you to Senator Hume for what I think is an incredibly important question. Like many in the chamber here today, I was humbled this morning to attend the annual Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month breakfast, and in particular to meet with and listen to an incredibly inspirational woman by the name of Trudy Crawley. She is someone who is living with terminal ovarian cancer. She came along today to share her story with us and to just remind us why it is so important that, regardless of which political party is in office, governments across Australia should support, in particular, research into ovarian cancer. As we know, it is one of the most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancers in Australia, and more than 1,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. If you look around the chamber, that equates to four women each day. Unfortunately though it also has the lowest survival rate of all of the gynaecological cancers in Australia. That is why the work that Ovarian Cancer Australia does to raise awareness of this particular disease is just so important. In terms of the work they are doing, the 25/25 vision, which aims to reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer by 25 per cent as well as improve five-year relative survival rates by 25 per cent by 2025, brings a focus to this ambitious goal. The Know. Ask. Act. campaign continues to raise awareness of symptoms, when to seek help and how to raise important funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia. Again, on behalf of everybody in the chamber, I congratulate Ovarian Cancer Australia for the important work they do in continuing to raise awareness in relation to this cancer.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a supplementary question.