© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and CURE - Oncology & Cancer News for Patients & Caregivers. All rights reserved.
After surviving a benign brain tumor, actress and journalist Maria Menounos announced a stage 2 pancreatic cancer diagnosis while expecting a baby.
Actress, journalist and former “E! News” correspondent Maria Menounos announced that she was diagnosed and treated for stage 2 pancreatic cancer in January 2023.
The 44-year-old is expecting a daughter via surrogate, along with her husband Keven Undergaro. The cancer diagnosis was preceded by a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, which she quickly got under control. However, after a few months, Menounos began experiencing intense abdominal pain. A friend recommended that she undergo a full-body MRI, which revealed a mass, and a biopsy later revealed that she had stage 2 pancreatic cancer.
The 5-year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer remain low, but improve dramatically when the disease is caught in its early stages. When localized to the pancreas, the 5-year survival rate is 44%, according to the National Cancer Institute. Pancreas cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages, with more than 80% diagnosed when advanced, according to Johns Hopkins. The onset of diabetes, along with other signs and symptoms, is a precursor of pancreatic cancer.
Soon after her diagnosis, Menounos underwent surgery to remove part of her pancreas, the entire spleen, 17 lymph nodes and a fibroid “the size of a baby” on her uterus.
“All that kept flashing through my head was my baby,” Menounos said in an emotional interview with “TODAY.” “I was like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe this is going to happen to me.”
This was not the first health complication Menounos faced. In 2017, she underwent surgery for a benign brain tumor. Later that year, she was also the keynote speaker for CURE®’s third annual GBM Heroes event, honoring individuals who made a difference in the lives of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Now, Menounos said that she is cancer-free, and plans to share on a podcast all the cancer-related information that she learned throughout the ordeal.
“I have SO much information and SO many breakthroughs that I think/hope can save others. I do plan to share everything on my podcast and on as many platforms as I can. For now I'll say how grateful I am to be able alive and well and that I WILL get to hold my baby!” she said on Instagram.
For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.