“I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free.”
Smulders, now 33, says she found out while How I Met Your Mother was in its prime success.
“I had tumors on both ovaries,” Smulders told Women’s Health.
“And the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues.”
The following years were made up of many surgeries to remove the tumors, while still working successfully as an actress.
“I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free,” she said.
“Now that I’m five years out, I’m trying to think of it as positive thing and what can I learn from it. And if I can create more awareness, I’ll do it.”
Ovarian cancer was the most common cause of death from any gynecological cancer in 2011, with 908 Australian women losing their lives to this disease. Almost 1500 Australian women were diagnosed last year, according to Cancer Australia.
While the average age of developing ovarian cancer is 64.4 years, Smulders is proof you can be very young and otherwise healthy yet still contract the cancer.
Symptons of ovarian cancer include abdominal pain, bloating, frequent need to urinate and feeling full after eating little. If you are concerned, see a doctor. You can find more out about symptoms and statistics by clicking here.