The famous Greek American journalist from Boston, Maria Menounos, has disclosed that she is undergoing treatment for stage 2 pancreatic cancer. The 44-year-old former “E! News” journalist underwent surgery three months ago to remove a 3.9-centimeter tumour after receiving a stage 2 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in January.
“When you’re met with a potential death sentence, everything changes,” she told People magazine. “I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early. You can’t let fear get in the way. I had that moment where I thought I was a goner — but I’m OK because I caught this early enough.”
Following a bout of “excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhoea” in November of last year and a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes (which runs in her family) in 2022, Menounos received her frightening diagnosis.
As is sometimes the case with pancreatic cancer, she visited the hospital last autumn with gastrointestinal issues, but a CT scan revealed nothing. ‘Everything’s fine,’ they declared. Menounos remembered, “But I kept feeling pains, and at one point it felt like someone was tearing my insides apart.”
She was lucky to have a recommendation from a friend who owns a company with full-body MRIs because the scan revealed the lump on her pancreas. It was a malignant neuroendocrine tumour, according to a biopsy.
Maria Menounos had the tumour surgically removed, a part of her pancreas, her spleen, a fibroid and 17 lymph nodes.
“It was super painful. I couldn’t move or lift myself up,” Maria said. Thank God, Menounos doesn’t need chemotherapy or any additional treatment, beyond a scan every year for the next five years.
Since she and her husband, Keven Undergaro, are currently expecting a daughter, their first child, via surrogate, her recovery is particularly emotional. She exclaimed, “I’m so grateful and so lucky.” “God granted me a miracle. I’m going to appreciate having her in my life so much more than I would have before this journey.”
When speaking with People, Menounos also brought up a previous health scare: In 2017, the TV personality discovered she had a golf ball-sized growth pressing on her facial nerves after experiencing headaches, dizziness, and slurred speech. The brain lump was discovered to be a meningioma, a brain tumour type that is often benign. In June 2017, the brain tumour was surgically removed, and a year later, Menounos told TODAY.com she was making a full recovery.
The overall survival rate for pancreatic cancer is grim: according to the American Cancer Society, only 12% of people survive five years after learning they have pancreatic cancer. According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, this makes it the major cancer with the lowest five-year survival rate.
However, as Menounos pointed out that earlier cancer detection results in higher survival rates. When the cancer is discovered before it spreads outside the pancreas, about 44% of patients live for more than five years. We wish Maria Menounos all the best with a healthy recovery, and may God bless her with a healthy birth of her daughter.