Actress Brittany Daniel secretly battled cancer in 2011 after she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The blonde beauty, who starred opposite her twin sister Cynthia in 1994 teen drama series Sweet Valley High, had been suffering severe back pain, night sweats and flu-like symptoms in the summer of 2011 when she learned she had stage four cancer.

She tells People magazine, "I was in unbearable pain, and I knew something wasn't right. But I don't think any of us were expecting what we heard."

Daniel underwent six months of chemotherapy and spent the following 18 months in recovery, turning to natural treatments like acupuncture, as she bounced back from her health crisis.

She says, "I lost all my hair. It stripped me of everything. My exterior was taken away so I could see who I really was on the inside... It's the hardest thing I've gone through, but it showed me who I am."

Daniel, who turned 38 on Monday (17Mar14), has since been declared cancer-free and she is only now opening up about her battle with the disease in a bid to help others going through similar health struggles.

The Game star explains, "I just needed time to emotionally recover (from her cancer battle). But I want people going through cancer to know they're not alone. The odds were stacked against me but I'm a warrior. Now I'm just enjoying every day."