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'Facts of Life' actress Mindy Cohn reveals secret 5-year breast cancer battle

Gibson Johns, AOL.com

"Facts of Life" actress Mindy Cohn revealed that she secretly battled breast cancer for five years.

Talking exclusively to People, Cohn, 51, opened up about her 2012 diagnosis with breast cancer and the five years since, during which she took a step back from Hollywood to focus on battling the cancer.

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Cohn remembered that she was on a walk in Los Angeles when she "suddenly got so tired," and texted actress and friend Helen Hunt for help. A trip to the hospital revealed that that she had a lump in her breast.

"It was breast cancer," she told People. "I kept that secret for a long time."

See photos of Mindy Cohn:

Cohn ultimately underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation -- an onslaught of procedures that she called a "siege."

"The cancer metastasized," she continued. "It kept spreading and coming back. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and then it would. And then I'd wait for another shoe to drop, and it would. I was frustrated and enraged. I couldn't control any of this. I couldn't fix it."

Though she couldn't "fix it," Cohn did have an outlet that helped her recuperate: Her friends' 60-acre farm outside of Sharon Spring, New York, which gave her a calming environment to recover in.

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Now that she's cancer free, Cohn is excited to get back to acting.

"I'm feeling great," she said. "And I'm so ready to get back to working. I think I'm a good actress, and I have a lot to offer. I'm excited to see what I get to do next!"

Mindy Cohn played Natalie Green on "The Facts of Life" for nine seasons from 1979 to 1988, an incredible run of 202 episodes. She's also known for voicing Velma Dinkley on a handful of long-running "Scooby Doo!" projects.

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