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Breast cancer in Gaza motion supported by Greens, Labor and Coalition MPs

A campaign aimed at assisting women in Gaza who face difficulty accessing breast cancer treatment has received Senate support after a motion proposed by women Senators from the Greens, Labor and Coalition parties was passed today (full motion below).

“It’s shocking that while the five year survival rate for Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer is 80 per cent, it sits at 40 per cent for women living in the Gaza Strip,” Greens Senator and spokesperson for women Lee Rhiannon said.

Anglicord, an Australian Anglican aid agency, has thrown the spotlight on a situation where women have difficulty with a travel approval process which can take up to six months to obtain.

“There is now no treatment for breast cancer in the Gaza Strip except for radical mastectomy.

““Detecting the cancer early enough gives women a better chance of a cure through surgery. Funding to provide 2,000 women in Gaza access to breast cancer screening every year is urgently needed,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Liberals Senator and shadow parliamentary secretary for the status of women Michaelia Cash said research shows that early detection of breast cancer through mammography helps save women's lives.

“The combination of early detection and better treatment has led to a steady reduction in the death rate from breast cancer since 1994. 

“Unfortunately for women in Gaza radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not available and as a consequence the death rate for women in Gaza with breast cancer is one of the highest in the world.

“Women no matter where they are should not die waiting for breast cancer treatment,” Senator Cash said.

Information about Anglicord’s Women Die Waiting Campaign.

Motion - Senators Rhiannon, Cash and Moore:

That the Senate—

(a) congratulates Anglicord – Anglican Overseas Aid on the launch of the Women Die Waiting campaign to highlight that breast cancer is one of the major causes of death for women in the Gaza Strip; and

(b) calls on all members of the Senate to support the Women Die Waiting campaign in their efforts to promote their cause and raise enough funds to provide 2 000 women in the Gaza Strip access to breast cancer screening every year.

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