The loss of a close friend to ovarian cancer was one of the driving forces behind Ballarat MP Catherine King’s push for more research and detection funding.
Ms King, who is Labor’s Health Spokeswoman, said the death of her friend Betty Leahy revealed the inadequate amount of attention given to ovarian cancer.
“I was really delighted to join Bill Shorten and Ballarat women Christine Christie and Dot Cherry today to announce new funds for research and to help improve survival rates for women with ovarian cancer,” she said.
“Dot and I have hosted an afternoon tea fundraiser for the past few years to raise money for ovarian cancer research so it was important they were with me at today’s announcement,” Ms King said.
“Ovarian cancer is Australia’s second most common women’s cancer and will affect 1,500 women across Australia this year,” Ms King said.
“This is a disease which impacts on communities across Australia, including Ballarat, and the mortality rates are disturbingly high,” she said.
Statistics show that around 1,000 Australian women die from ovarian cancer every year.
“The statistics are alarming and Labor is determined to reverse this awful situation by investing a further $8 million over four years into life-saving ovarian cancer research,” Ms King said.
“A Labor Government will also support Ovarian Cancer Australia’s 25/25 Vision – to reduce cases of ovarian cancer by 25 per cent, and improve five year survival rates by 25 per cent, by 2025,” she said.
Labor’s investment will include;
- • The resources needed for research like tissue and cell banks.
- • Research into prevention, detection and treatment.
- • Translation of that research into better care for Australian women.
“Today’s announcement is a reminder that we should be taking steps to make it as easy as possible to diagnose and treat cancer. My friend died of this horrible disease, but we can do more to save other women from the disease,” Ms King said.
“It’s already hard enough to detect ovarian cancer and governments shouldn’t be making it more expensive for women to access vital scans and tests,” she said.
“While Australia’s overall cancer survival rates are the best in the world, just 43 out of every 100 women are still alive five years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. With no screening test to aid detection and prevention, most women remain unaware they have ovarian cancer until the disease is at a very advanced stage with little hope of cure,” Ms King said.
Labor’s $8 million investment will deliver on the recommendations of the National Action Plan for Ovarian Cancer Research to deliver an effective and focused research funding strategy. It will provide better outcomes for women through a collaborative approach between funders, research organisations, researchers, and clinicians together with meaningful patient involvement.
Labor has also announced that it will extend and expand funding for Breast Cancer Network Australia and double the number of prostate cancer specialist nurses funded by the federal Government.
“A Shorten Labor Government will do the right thing by Australian women and ensure ovarian cancer research and detection gets the priority and resources it deserves,” Ms King said.
Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Ave, Barton, ACT 2600