Exclusive: Cobie Smulders Opens Up About Her Ovarian Cancer Scare

"If I can create more awareness, I'll do it."

Cobie Smulders is hardworking and crazy talented. She appears in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, out this May; the comedy Results, also out in May; and the drama Unexpected, due July 17. She has a killer bod, too. Fun fact: She shot that topless magazine cover fewer than two months after giving birth. Yep.

Also, Cobie is incredibly strong. In our May issue, the actress reveals that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during season three of How I Met Your Mother, when she was only 25 years old—it’s something she’s never shared publicly before.

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Reveals She’s Had Her Ovaries Removed

“I had tumors on both ovaries,” she says, “and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues.” It took multiple surgeries over the course of two years to remove the cancerous tissue.

“I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free,” she says. “Now that I’m five years out, I’m trying to think of it as a positive thing and what can I learn from it. And if I can create more awareness, I’ll do it.”

RELATED: Cobie Smulders on Posing Topless for Women’s Health: ‘I Wasn’t Trying to Appear Sexy’

Ovarian cancer is the most deadly reproductive cancer—it killed about 14,000 women in 2014. Learn more about how you can spot ovarian cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk.

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For more details about Cobie’s cancer battle, pick up our May 2015 issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands today.

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