Maria Menounos Opens Up About Navigating Motherhood and A Cancer Diagnosis

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In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, the T.V. personality opened up about her stage 2 pancreatic cancer diagnosis amid the busy and blessed season of welcoming a baby girl via surrogate.

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With Courage

“This whole year has been trauma, stress, crisis,” Menounos shared. “There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much. I thought, ‘I just need to heal.’ “

In January, Menounos was diagnosed with cancer. She endured a surgery to have the 3.9cm tumor removed. As she rests in recovery, the media host is choosing to encourage others to seek answers for their health issues.

“I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early,” she shared. “You can’t let fear get in the way. I had that moment where I thought I was a goner—but I’m okay because I caught this early enough.”

Menounos, 44, has gone through some health difficulties, having been diagnosed and treated for a benign brain tumor in 2017. This news came as a surprise to the health-conscious star who was celebrating the news of her upcoming motherhood early last year.

“I was feeling so good, and then I got slapped in the face with a new diagnosis,” she shared, “I’d scream out loud, I was inconsolable.”

After a trip to the hospital, she discovered that she had type 1 diabetes. She

was given insulin, ate a very strict diet, and monitored her glucose levels. She saw dramatic improvement fairly quickly.

“I was crushing it,” she continued, “I felt so good. What else could go wrong?” But later that month, she returned to the hospital “with excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea.”

Nothing came up in initial diagnostic testing. “They said, ‘Everything’s fine.’ But I kept having pains.” On a flight a few weeks later, she experienced pain that felt “like someone was tearing my insides out.”

In Recovery

An MRI revealed the tumor on her pancreas. “I’m like ‘How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer?’ ” she says. “All I could think was that I have a baby coming.”

She had the tumor, a piece of her pancreas, a fibroid, seventeen lymph nodes, and her spleen removed. “It was super painful,” she shared, “I couldn’t move or lift myself up.”

Now, she is recovering and enjoying decorating her baby girl’s nursery. “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.”

Read More: Jane Fonda Reveals Her Cancer is in Remission: ‘I Am Feeling So Blessed’ (

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