How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders opens up about ovarian cancer scare at age 25

New York - Canadian TV and film star Cobie Smulders revealed a well-kept secret in the May issue of Women's Health magazine - she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25, during season three of the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

"I had tumours on both ovaries, and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues," she divulged. It took several surgeries over the course of two years to get rid of the cancerous tissue.

Smulders, now 33, added: "I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm 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."

She married Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam in 2012 and gave birth to her five-year-old daughter Shaelyn at age 27, and a three-month-old son in January this year.

She posed topless for the magazine cover and agreed to do so to prove that she was confident about her body, rather than to appear "sexy". She said: "It was my first topless photo shoot where I wasn't trying to appear 'sexy', which was interesting.

"Because it's a women's magazine, I feel like being topless is more about being confident and about being happy with your body rather than trying to excite somebody else. That's what this cover was more about."

Smulders also appears in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which is in cinemas now.