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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 2312 ..

Breast Cancer

MR HIRD (5.14): Mr Deputy Speaker, you may have noticed that on my lapel today I have a pink ribbon. During the last 48 hours a number of people have asked me what the pink ribbon represents. It represents awareness of breast cancer. It is an acknowledgment that breast cancer is a problem within the community and that we need to publicise breast cancer if we are going to tackle the problems facing those who are doing research into this horrid disease.

Australia's Breast Cancer Day - which was on Monday, 26 October - aims to raise awareness of breast cancer in the community. This year's national theme is "Living with Breast Cancer". A number of events have occurred in the time leading up to this week. Australia's first national breast cancer conference for women was held in Canberra from the 16th to the 18th of this month, giving women from all over Australia the opportunity to share their experiences with breast cancer. Might I add that it is not only women who suffer from this dreaded disease, but men also.

On 18 October, the Field of Women was planted at Parliament House. There are 8,000 pink silhouettes, representing every Australian woman diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and, sadly, there are 2,500 white silhouettes, representing every Australian woman who has died over that period from breast cancer. On 19 October, we enjoyed a morning tea with Sara Henderson, within the reception rooms of the parliament, hosted by the Minister for Health, Michael Moore, and a new pamphlet on information and support services was launched by the ACT Cancer Society.

Breast cancer is a major health issue for women. More Australian women die from it than from any other form of cancer. This week is a time to celebrate our achievements so far in the ACT and the south-east region. Mr Deputy Speaker, it can be seen once again that the ACT is showing leadership, not only for the community within this Territory but also for the people in the south-east region of New South Wales, which surrounds the ACT. We have an accredited, organised, high-quality mammography screening service. This is still the best method of early detection.

The quality assurance project conducted by the breast cancer treatment group has over 200 women registered. This project will assist in the development of effective treatment choices for this dreaded disease by providing accurate information to clinicians.

Canberra Hospital

MR RUGENDYKE (5.17): Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise briefly to convey to the house the satisfaction that three members of my family experienced in the last few days with the staff of the Canberra Hospital. Too often, when hospitals are mentioned in this place, it is with a degree of derogatory comment or criticism. So I think it is important also to bring to the attention of the house, and particularly of the Health Minister, the good aspects of our hospital system. I refer to the birth last night of my fifth grandchild.

Members: Hear, hear!

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