The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
9 February 2022
To mark Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the Morrison Government will provide an additional $2 million to Ovarian Cancer Australia for its work supporting women with ovarian cancer and their families.
Last year, it is estimated that approximately 1,700 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Tragically, 1,000 died from the disease. While ovarian cancer is most commonly diagnosed in women over the age of 50, it can occur at any age.
This additional funding will ensure Ovarian Cancer Australia can continue providing vital psychosocial telehealth support services through its Teal Support Program until 2023–24.
The Teal Support Program employs specialist nurses who use telehealth to provide psychosocial care and support to people with ovarian cancer, from diagnosis through to post-treatment.
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer face daunting challenges. It has a low 5-year survival rate (47%) with a recurrence rate of up to 70%. As a result, around 40% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer experience clinical levels of anxiety or depression.
While caring for patients and their families is important, research remains our best hope of defeating ovarian cancer and developing more effective treatments.
Since 2012, the Government has provided $62.5 million through the National Health and Medical Research Council for ovarian cancer research. The Medical Research Future Fund has committed almost $21 million to ovarian cancer research projects since 2015.
The Government also supports women with ovarian cancer and their families by listing life‑saving and life-changing medications on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In
2020–21, our expenditure on PBS medicines to treat ovarian cancer was over $30 million.
In November 2020 Lynparza (olaparib) was extended to include more patients with ovarian cancer, making it accessible to around 300 patients per year who might otherwise pay more than $140,500 per course of treatment.
Today, at the annual Teal Ribbon Breakfast, the Government reaffirms its commitment to supporting Australian women with ovarian cancer to get the treatment, information and support they need.