Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, today is World Ovarian Cancer Day, an initiative of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
Every year, on May 8, we recognize the women living with ovarian cancer — the survivors, their families and support systems — and the groups from around the world who continue to fight for funding for a cure and who help all those affected by this deadly disease.
This is very close to my heart, honourable senators, as my wife, Ellen, is a survivor. This July, she will celebrate 22 years since her surgery in her fight against ovarian cancer, and our family is all very thankful for that.
We attended the Breakfast in Teal yesterday morning in Halifax, organized by Ovarian Cancer Canada, in honour of World Ovarian Cancer Day.
We were again told that ovarian cancer research receives less funding than other cancers that are less fatal. From 2005 to 2015, federal funding for breast cancer was $249 million, while that for ovarian cancer was only $38 million over the same period.
According to the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, ovarian cancer is diagnosed annually in nearly a quarter of a million women globally and is responsible for 140,000 deaths each year. Statistics show that 45 per cent of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years, compared to up to 89 per cent of women with breast cancer.
When you compare these statistics with the amount of funding received, it is not hard to draw a conclusion.
Honourable senators, we need your help to continue the fight against ovarian cancer. There continues to be no early detection test, and to make things worse, symptoms are too often mistaken for those of other less severe illnesses.
This September, my family will be walking in the Walk of Hope in Halifax to support ovarian cancer research and support. I encourage to you support the walk in your communities across the country.
Please join our family and the countless other families around the world to continue to raise awareness of this disease, to adequately fund research to find an early detection test and, most importantly, a cure. Women in your lives will thank you forever.