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Unveiling The Hidden Truths Of Ovarian Cancer: “It Wasn’t Even On My Radar”

February marks ovarian cancer awareness month in Australia. 

A cruel disease, often overlooked, lacks the awareness, early detection tests, and funding it desperately needs. 

With 70 per cent of diagnoses occurring at advanced stages and a heart-wrenching 49 per cent five-year survival rate. It’s time to break the silence.

On today’s The Briefing episode, producer Simon Beaton delves into the shadows of ovarian cancer, speaking with Bridget Bradhurst, Acting Chief of National Ovarian Cancer Advocacy & Support Services. 

Ms Bradhurst reveals that around 1,815 Australians are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and approximately 1,000 lives are lost to the disease annually across the country.

Briefing producer Simon’s mother, Deb Macdonald, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 

The struggle becomes palpable as Simon explores the difficulties faced by patients like his mother, undergoing major surgeries and chemotherapy.

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“With ovarian cancer, so many women spend what short time they have left. In intensive treatment, you know they’ve passed away quite early,” Ms Macdonald said.

“There’s not so much of that opportunity for people who’ve recovered to go on then and be activists and advocates.”

Simon also sits down with Lisa Finuncane, a courageous individual who has been living with ovarian cancer for over 14 years. 

Data show that in 2020, ovarian cancer was the sixth most common cause of death from cancer among females.

“Medical professionals have said, ‘it’s just menopause or it’s just menopause or it’s just women’s issue…I think ovarian cancer particularly, it’s often diagnosed quite late.”

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