Date Published: 8 February 2009
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
More than 850 Australian women will lose their battle with ovarian cancer in 2008-09. Ovarian cancer is the ninth highest cause of death in Australian females.
In launching Ovarian Cancer Australia’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month today, I want to encourage women and healthcare professionals to understand more about the disease, particularly its symptoms.
A number of initiatives are planned for the month.
A key initiative is the launch of the “Symptom Diary”, to be used by Ovarian Cancer Australia to increase awareness of the symptoms of the disease.
In addition, politicians, TV personalities and members of the public will all be invited to wear a teal ribbon on Wednesday 25 February. Teal is the international colour for ovarian cancer.
The Australian Government-funded National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre will roll out its public information campaign No one knows your body like you do. The campaign is designed to educate Australian women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and dispel the myth that a Pap test will detect ovarian cancer.
On 27 February, the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre will hold an expert forum with gynaecological oncologists, geneticists, consumers and other stakeholders to discuss screening and early detection of ovarian cancer.
In the past, ovarian cancer has been known as a ‘silent killer’ as symptoms are often vague and non-specific, making it difficult to diagnose. Many women with early stage ovarian cancer may not have any symptoms – if they do, symptoms can include pain in the lower abdomen or side and a bloated or full feeling in the stomach.
The Australian Government’s support for a range of activities to increase awareness of ovarian cancer reflects our strong commitment to taking up the fight against cancer in all its forms.
We see this fight as a national challenge, and we are supporting a range of organisations and individuals involved in cancer research, treatment and awareness activities.