Kathy Bates battled ovarian cancer eight years ago, but the Harry's Law actor has just recently opened up about it.

I was advised to [keep it quiet], Bates said. I was contracted to go into a movie at that time, Little Black Book, with Brittany Murphy, who I miss very much.

With Bates gearing up to do the movie, she had to keep her medical issue to herself for insurance purposes.

My doctors at the time, they had to get insurance approval and all of that, so I was very quiet about it, Bates said. I had to go back to work right away, [I went through it] by myself, I guess it's something I felt I had to face on my own. Nobody else really knows what you're going through except another cancer patient. Even though your family is supportive and surrounds you.

Bates' cancer is now behind her, but she says if she ever was to go through it again, she would want to be more open about it.

If I go through it again, I think I would be a lot more open about it, Bates said. I admire people who have been open like Melissa Ethridge and women I see walking around facing it without wigs and all of that stuff. I think I would be more courageous next time.

Bates currently stars on NBC's drama, Harry's Law, and will be guest starring on Two and Half Men as Charlie Sheen's character, Charlie Harper's, ghost.