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3. 90-second Statements

March 15, 2017

5 speeches by…

  • Elin Jones
  • Hannah Blythyn
  • Simon Thomas

Hannah Blythyn

March marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. In the UK alone, around 7,200 women are diagnosed with the disease annually, and there are approximately 4,300 deaths due to ovarian cancer each year. Many of us here have a family member, a friend or will know somebody who has been affected by ovarian cancer. And although this is a relatively rare cancer, the fact that one woman dies every two hours from the disease testifies to the need to tackle this, to raise awareness and to bust the myths around ovarian cancer with both women and practitioners alike. Ovarian cancer has been called ‘the silent killer’ because of the difficulty in diagnosis, but there are symptoms to be aware of. Knowing, taking seriously and acting on these symptoms is a crucial factor in the fight to crack this cruel cancer. The main symptoms to look out for are persistent stomach pain, persistent bloating, finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly, and needing to urinate more often. We know that 90 per cent of women are not aware of these four main symptoms. More can and must be done to raise awareness around ovarian cancer. The Ovarian Cancer Action charity recommends that, if you experience any symptoms, don’t ignore them, act quickly and talk to your general practitioner. If diagnosed at stage 1, women have a 90 per cent survival rate from ovarian cancer. Early detection is a lifesaver; knowing the symptoms makes a difference.

Simon Thomas

Thank you, Llywydd. At 40 years of age this year, the Dyfi Biosphere has been one of the six designated UNESCO biosphere reserves in the UK. It was renamed and extended in 2001, and by now it extends from Aberystwyth to Llanbryn-mair and from Borth to Dinas Mawddwy. It has a clear, decisive vision, namely that the Dyfi Biosphere will be recognised and respected internationally, nationally and locally for the diversity of its natural beauty, its heritage and its wildlife, and for the effort of the people there to make a positive contribution to a more sustainable world. It will be a self-confident, healthy, caring and bilingual community, supported by a strong locally based economy. To meet that challenging and exciting vision, it has nine main objectives. One of them is to ensure that it will be a bilingual community that will be recognised and respected for its heritage. Therefore, the biosphere status relates to far more than just the environment—it encompasses the situation of the Welsh language around the Dyfi estuary. I’d like to thank and applaud the Dyfi Biosphere for its work, not only as a platform for sustainable development, but for its decisiveness in placing the Welsh language at the heart of its activities. I therefore encourage the Welsh Government to respect and promote the biosphere as an exemplar of sustainability in Wales that has international status, and to work with UNESCO to secure its future.