After a tumultuous few years, Fran Drescher is bravely opening up about her past rape and subsequent cancer battle — and revealed she’s focused on turning her pain into purpose today.

During a new interview with Australian outlet Studio 10, the 59-year-old actress admitted she believes her rape and uterine cancer diagnosis are “potentially linked.”

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“I really didn’t deal with my pain for many, many, many years — with the rape. So, when you don’t do that… I mean, I ended up with a cancer,” Fran said. “So, it kind of ended up being very poetic in where the body decides to break down and create disease.”

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Fran speaking at a 2015 Cancer Schmancer event.

In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into the LA home Fran shared with her then-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson. The Nanny star was tragically raped and Peter was reportedly physically attacked and tied up during the horrific ordeal.

“The whole rape experience was so surreal. Because people who talk about having guns in the house, it would not have helped. It could have been used against us,” Peter told Studio 10.

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Fifteen years later, Fran was diagnosed with uterine cancer in June 2000. She subsequently underwent an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. She received no further cancer treatments following her operation.

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Fran and Peter in 2014.

“You will never be the same [after trauma]. But whatever that is, forge forward with that and turn your pain into purpose which is what I always do,” Fran said. In 2007, the actress founded her non-profit organization, Cancer Schmancer, which is dedicated to educating women about early cancer diagnosis.

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Though Fran and Peter later divorced in 1999 after the television writer came out as gay, the two remain close friends and business partners today. “We choose to be in each others’ lives in any capacity. Our love is unique, rare, and unconditional; unless he’s being annoying,” Fran said in a previous interview.

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