Ovarian Cancer Canada

Honourable senators, I’m wearing this pin, which is the pin for ovarian cancer. If my colleagues would pay attention to what I’m going to say, I’d appreciate that.

Honourable senators, I had a meeting last week with three remarkable women representing Ovarian Cancer Canada. Monique is the former director of the organization’s Quebec office. Lynn, whose mother died from ovarian cancer, is a volunteer fundraiser for the organization. Then there is Carol.

Carol is an ovarian cancer survivor, but has recently been re-diagnosed. As is too often the case when women get this cancer a second time, treatment has not worked for Carol. She plans to use the time she has left to raise public awareness of and advocate and fundraise for improvements for other women who have or will develop ovarian cancer.

Every day, five women in Canada die from ovarian cancer. This year, 2,800 women in this country will be newly diagnosed. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common and the most fatal of women’s cancers. In the past 50 years, these outcomes haven’t really changed.

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect because its symptoms are the same as symptoms of several other conditions. There is no reliable test to diagnosis the disease.

These are the harsh facts, but they are not the hard facts.

Ovarian Cancer Canada is the only national charity dedicated to overcoming this disease. The organization supports women and families. It raises awareness among and educates health care providers. On its own and with partners like the Canadian Cancer Society and the Terry Fox Research Institute, it funds much-needed research programs and grants.

Generally, honourable senators, we don’t discuss or understand nearly enough about ovarian cancer. Ovarian Cancer Canada is working hard to change that.

As a man, I’m in a position to help break down barriers preventing our society from dealing with this cancer in a way that befits its risks and impact, and I am starting now by encouraging you to turn to Ovarian Cancer Canada for information about the disease and to support the purpose and financial goals of its current fundraising campaign.

Ovarian Cancer Canada is looking for at least an extra $10 million in government funding simply just to bring them on par with breast and prostate cancer funding. It makes a lot of sense to me.

Also, wouldn’t it be nice to have the Peace Tower lit up in the colour of teal? Sunday, May 8, was World Ovarian Cancer Day, and it is every year. There is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and that is in September. We could have the Peace Tower lit up in teal.

If we can light up the Peace Tower in blue for autism on April 2, surely we can do the same for ovarian cancer. Honourable senators, we owe it to the women of Canada.

Thank you.