Cobie Smulders, who you probably know best as Robin from How I Met Your Mother, has spoken for the first time about her fight with ovarian cancer.
In 2007, during the third season of the CBS sitcom that propelled her to international fame, Smulders received her diagnosis. The Canadian actress was only 25 at the time.
“I had tumours on both ovaries and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues,” Smulders, now 33, revealed in the latest issue of US Women’s Health magazine. This is the first time she’s publicly discussed her cancer experience. (Post continues after gallery.)
Thankfully, Smulders’ doctors were able to remove the cancerous tissue through multiple surgeries over the course of two years, and the actress gave birth to her daughter, Shaelyn, at age 27.
However, the mum of two — she had a baby boy in January this year — says she doesn’t think she’ll ever feel like she’s cancer-free.
“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.”
Smulders isn't the first high-profile woman to get people talking about ovarian cancer. In 2009, Misery star Kathy Bates revealed she had fought the illness six years earlier, and urged women to be aware of the symptoms and the importance of early detection.
More recently, Angelina Jolie has been open about her decision to undergo preventive surgeries to have her ovaries, fallopian tubes and breasts removed. Doctors estimated the actress had a 50 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer, and an 87 per cent risk of breast cancer, due to her carrying a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.
In Australia, ovarian cancer is the tenth most common cancer among women, with 1400 diagnoses every year. Although Smulders was diagnosed at age 25, this cancer is more common in women over 50 — the average age of diagnosis here is 60.
Although Cobie Smulders' role as the determined, dog-crazy news anchor Robyn Scherbatsky ended with the controversial finale of How I Met Your Mother last year, she'll be back on the big screen soon with the release of the latest film in the Avengers series.