The month of February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and I take this opportunity to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms. Three Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day, and approximately 75 per cent of these women are diagnosed at the advanced stage, when it is very difficult to treat successfully.
Ovarian Cancer Australia’s statistics suggest that every 11 hours an Australian woman will die from ovarian cancer and that 1 in 77 Australian women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime. These are distressing statistics that can be reduced by our awareness of this disease and its symptoms.
It is thought that the majority of women are unaware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which include an increase in abdominal size or persistent bloating, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, unexplained abdominal or pelvic pain and changed bowel habits. If these symptoms are acted upon early and the cancer is detected in the early stages, the majority of women will survive.
Donations can be made through Ovarian Cancer Australia to fund community awareness programs, support groups, rural and regional tele-support services and support materials for family and friends of ovarian cancer sufferers. I encourage all members in this place to promote Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in their electorate, particularly by wearing a teal ribbon on 23 February, Teal Ribbon Day.