The 39-year-old Canadian actress wrote a piece in Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny Letter about her diagnosis at the age of 25.
“I found myself in the center of such a storm in the spring of 2008 when I was 25. 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.
“My fertility hadn’t even crossed my mind at this point. Again: I was 25. Life was pretty simple. But suddenly it was all I could think about.”The “How I Met Your Mother” actress also talked about how she felt right before her diagnosis — she had low energy and was tired all the time.
“I felt a constant pressure on my abdomen that I could not explain,” she wrote.
Smulders said she stopped eating cheese and carbs and also started meditating.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer can be different for every woman, but they often include bloating, indigestion or nausea, urinating frequently, changes in bowel movement, and feeling pressure in the lower back or pelvis, the Cancer Center notes.
In Canada, an estimated 2,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, the Canadian Cancer Society reports.
For women, family history of cancer, smoking, and even obesity can all be risk factors.
For Smulders, even though she had a combination of surgeries, therapy, and even access to crystal healers, she says research is the best place to start when it comes to healing your body.
“I wish everyone had access to all these treatments. I am aware of my situation, that I was incredibly fortunate to have had the means to explore any and all options,” she wrote. “You can do the research and find many different ways to help your body heal itself.”