Teal Ribbon Day marks 20 years of ovarian cancer support

Caitlin Delaney with Macquarie MP Susan Templeman at Parliament House.
Caitlin Delaney with Macquarie MP Susan Templeman at Parliament House.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman is urging all women to be aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to visit their GP if they are worried.

Her plea comes on the eve of Teal Ribbon Day [February 24] an awareness and fundraising event for Ovarian Cancer Australia.

"According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, there were more than 1500 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia in 2020," Ms Templeman said.

"It's a brutal disease, being the deadliest yet most underfunded female cancer in Australia, with only 46 per cent of women diagnosed surviving past five years.

"But in its 20th year, Ovarian Cancer Australia tells us that researchers are closer to a breakthrough than ever before."

As stated on the Ovarian Cancer Australia website [ovariancancer.net.au], ovarian cancer occurs when cells in one or both ovaries start to grow abnormally.

There is no early detection test for the disease, so being aware of the warning signs is crucial as early treatments can make a difference.

According to Ovarian Cancer Australia, the most common reported symptoms for ovarian cancer are:

  • increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating;
  • abdominal or pelvic (lower tummy) pain;
  • feeling fill after eating a small amount; and
  • needing to urinate often or urgently.

Other symptoms include changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight gain or loss, excessive fatigue, lower back pain, indigestion or nausea, bleeding after menopause or in-between periods, and pain during sex or bleeding after.

A special hearing was recently hosted in federal parliament to mark 20 years of Ovarian Cancer Australia.

It was attended by Ms Templeman as well as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

It featured a talk from Sydney-sider Caitlin Delaney, who shared the personal and emotional story of her journey with ovarian cancer.

"It's thanks to women like Caitlin that we keep up the pressure for more funding for research and support for ovarian cancer, and I thanked her for her efforts," Ms Templeman said.

"Sadly, my friend Jill Emberson, who spoke to this audience two years ago, has died of her illness. But each of them leaves a powerful legacy that is gradually bringing awareness.

"The government announced an extra $1 million in funding on the day, which is a small but welcome step to continue nursing support for women being treated for this disease."

The Ovarian Cancer Australia webiste, ovariancancer.net.au includes comprehensive information about all facets of the disesase.

Teal Ribbon Day donations can be made by visiting charidy.com/oca

Every dollar given will be matched by Ovarian Cancer Australia's partners, effectively tripling every pledge.