Michelle Monaghan: I Had Skin Cancer

10/20/2011 at 02:05 PM EDT

Michelle Monaghan Skin Cancer Revealed
Michelle Monaghan
Courtesy Health
Michelle Monaghan can thank her husband Peter White for a lot of things – including getting her to the doctor for an important checkup a few years back.

"I had a mole on the back of my calf, and he was adamant that I get it checked," the actress, 35, tells Health magazine. "I finally went, and it was skin cancer. I had quite the chunk taken out of my leg. I'm so grateful he noticed it."

She adds jokingly: "I clearly now realize he has a keen eye and wonder what other imperfections he's noticing!"

The experience made an impression, and made Monaghan feel remorseful about having been a smoker.

"I smoked for almost 10 years," she says. "I really regret that. Thankfully, I came out on the other side. I hope my lungs are repairing themselves now."

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