In a bold move that's capturing plenty of attention, actress Cobie Smulders has opened up about her battle with ovarian cancer. Now, the How I Met Your Mother star has an important message that we think the women in your life desperately need to hear.
Smulder, who's now 34, revealed in a candid essay published by Lenny Letter that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 25 during the third season of her hit TV show.
"I had felt like something was off. My energy was low, I was tried all the time, and I felt a constant pressure on my abdomen that I could not explain," she wrote.
Still, the diagnosis came as a shock. "Just when your ovaries should be brimming with youthful follicles, cancerous cells overtook mine, threatening to end my fertility and potentially my life," she wrote.
Though keenly aware of the "total mental, physical, and emotional" toll the cancer battle took on her, she managed to keep working and appear onset as if everything was fine. It wasn't until posing for a health magazine's cover shoot last year that the "terrifying" ordeal her body had endured just a few years before--including multiple surgeries and treatments--really began to hit home.
"It all made me start thinking about this body that I’m in. And what it has been through," wrote Smulders, calling the episode an "opportunity to share some insight from my experience of being diagnosed with, receiving treatment for, and eventually learning to cure my cancer."
Now, she hopes that women everywhere can learn from what she's been through. Most importantly: Listen to your body when it sends distress signals.
"I wish that we as women spent as much time on the well-being of our insides as we do with our looks on the outside. If you are going through something like this, I urge you to look at all your options," she wrote.
Ladies: Let's keep this crucial message spreading.
NEXT: Click through below to see celebrities you didn't realize had survived cancer.