Grieving mum's message to women

The heartbroken mother of a young ovarian cancer victim has spoken out in the hope she can save other womens' lives.

A year ago today, Angela Ienco was given the news no mother ever wants to receive - her 14-year-old daughter, Giovanna, had cancer.

"You think of ovarian cancer as a disease that affects older people, but it's not," Angela told 7News reporter Anastasia Salamastrakis.

Giovanna underwent surgery where doctors removed a 10 kilogram tumour from her ovaries, but the cancer was aggressive.

Doctors recommended chemotherapy to kill the remaining cells.

The Mildura teenager shaved her head before starting her treatment on her 15th birthday.

Sadly, she died two-and-a-half months later at the Royal Women's Hospital.

Oncologist Dr Orla McNally said Giovanna was the youngest person she had ever treated for ovarian cancer.

"You would never assume in someone of this age that it's going to turn out to be a cancer, but unfortunately for Giovanna she is one of the rare cases," she said.

Giovanna began a course of chemotherapy on her 15th birthday. Photo: Supplied

The young girl's devastated family hopes Giovanna's tragic and untimely death serves as a warning to all women that cancer can affect all ages and to seek medical attention promptly if you have any concerns.

Giovanna developed symptoms of the disease, including severe swelling and pain, but did not seek immediate treatment - a constant regret in her mother's mind.

"Although ovarian cancer tends to occur more commonly in the 50s and 60s, it can occur at any age," warned Dr McNally.

Angela had this message on World Ovarian Cancer day.

"One minute she was healthy and normal and the next minute she's gone."

For more information about the disease and treatment, visit Ovarian Cancer Council website here