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Leanne French with children Declan and Sharai.

Leanne French flinches when she hears some of the biggest myths about ovarian cancer - that young women cannot get it and pap smear tests will find it.

Diagnosed at 29, the day before her wedding in 2011, the mother of two says lack of awareness, even by experienced doctors, means women are diagnosed when the cancer is too late to treat.

Ovarian Cancer Australia is launching a campaign today ahead of its February awareness and fundraising month, calling for more action to beat the disease that kills more than 1000 Australian women a year and has the lowest survival rate for any women's cancer.

Ms French, 32, spent 15 months "doctor shopping" until she found one who agreed to investigate her gut feeling that something was wrong.

Even after an ultrasound showed a mass on her left ovary, doctors assured her it was a harmless cyst before one finally referred her to a specialist who immediately suspected cancer.

"Everyone kept telling me I was far too young to have ovarian cancer and it was only after lots of jumping up and down and following my intuition that someone listened," she said.

With her children Sharai and Declan aged only eight and five at the time, she had surgery to remove the ovary and collect eggs. Chemotherapy and a total hysterectomy followed.

Now recovered, she considers herself luckier than other women because her cancer was still picked up at an early stage.

She is now an ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia and hopes other women will learn from her experience.

It worries her that many people still ask why her pap smear did not pick it up, though it only tests for cervical cancer.

"It is drummed into women about looking out for breast cancer and checking for lumps but most don't know a lot about reproductive cancers and this is a deadly one," she said.

"I'm very fortunate because it might have gone in a very different direction but it makes me sad some women aren't so lucky. My message is you don't have to be paranoid, just vigilant."

In 2011, 133 WA women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 81 died from it.

Though most are older than 50, a small number of teenagers and young women are usually diagnosed each year.

There is no single reliable test for ovarian cancer and doctors usually use a blood test and ultrasound for a diagnosis.

OCA chief executive Alison Amos said only 43 per cent of women lived five years after diagnosis - half the survival rate for breast cancer. She said most women could survive if diagnosed early but without an early detection test most were found when advanced.

People can host an "afternoon teal" event or buy teal ribbons to support fundraising. Details at ovariancancer.net.au.