The Avengers star tells Women's Health magazine she was diagnosed in 2007, while she was in the midst of filming the third season of the U.S. sitcom.

She reveals, "I had tumors on both ovaries, and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues."

Smulders, now 33, underwent multiple surgeries over two years to remove the cancerous tissue, leaving her with a third of an ovary. Doctors warned her that she might not be able to conceive a child naturally - but she and comedian/actor husband Taran Killam welcomed daughter Shaelyn in 2009, and their second child, a son, was born earlier this year (15).

Although Smulders hasn't had another cancer scare since then, she's not yet ready to declare herself completely free from the disease.

She says, "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."