24 May 2016

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $8 million over the next four years to make Australia a world leader in life-saving ovarian cancer research.

Ovarian cancer is the second-most common women's cancer in Australia with almost 1,500 women diagnosed every year.

Mortality is very high and is not improving at a fast enough rate. Around 1,000 Australian women die from the disease every year.

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.

The symptoms are hard to spot and are often mistaken for women simply feeling tired or rundown or going through menopause.

Through research done here in Australia we now know that ovarian cancer is not just one disease, but a complex range of diseases with different characteristics. However, it is still largely being treated as one disease with limited treatment options available. More work needs to be done to save the lives of Australian women.

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’s investment supports Ovarian Cancer Australia’s 25/25 Vision to reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer by 25 per cent and to improve the five-year survival rate of women affected by ovarian cancer by 25 per cent by the year 2025.

Ovarian Cancer Australia will use this investment to leverage matched funding for all research initiatives.

In Government, Labor invested more than $3.5 billion to combat cancer. A Shorten Labor Government will build on this record through investments like $8 million for life-saving ovarian cancer research.

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.