Maria Menounos battled pancreatic cancer while expecting her first baby

A shocking situation. Maria Menounos revealed she had been secretly battling pancreatic cancer before announcing she was expecting her first child via surrogate.

The 44-year-old TV presenter was diagnosed with stage II pancreatic cancer in January after experiencing severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. “They said, ‘Everything is fine.’ But I kept getting in pain,” said the former pageant queen People in an interview published on Wednesday, May 3rd. At one point, the pain was so severe that Menounos said it felt “like someone was ripping my insides out.”

After a full-body MRI, the TV personality’s doctors discovered a 3.9 cm mass on her pancreas and confirmed with a biopsy that it was cancerous. In February she underwent surgery to remove the tumor along with part of her pancreas, spleen, 17 lymph nodes and a fibroid. “It was super painful,” Menounos recalled. “I couldn’t move or pick myself up.”

The Dancing with the stars The alum was diagnosed just months after learning she had type 1 diabetes. After changing her diet, taking insulin and monitoring her blood sugar levels, Menounos felt like herself again in October, but then her stomach ache started.

In the meantime, she and her husband Keven Undergaro were preparing for the arrival of their first child through a surrogate mother. The couple, who tied the knot in 2017, announced in February that they are expecting a baby this summer.

“We wanted to go to Greece in the summer. We’re having to move this up because we’re having a baby,” the Heal Squad podcast host revealed during an appearance Live with Kelly and Ryan. “I had to share it here first because you guys are my family, you’ve been on the journey and I’m so grateful.”

Menounos and Undergaro, 55, have been trying to have a child for years. In 2016, the Massachusetts native revealed that her attempt to conceive through in vitro fertilization was unsuccessful.

“It’s been a long time. We’ve done everything – I mean literally everything,” Menounos said Kelly Ripa And Ryan Seacrest in February. “They tried to get me pregnant, it didn’t work. Kevin had surgery, it didn’t work. He hung me upside down like a chicken, that didn’t work!”

Maria Menounos reveals she battled pancreatic cancer while expecting first child

Maria Menounos attends the Fast X Trailer Launch on February 9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

the previous Extra The host has also struggled with unrelated health issues, including a brain tumor that left her with severe headaches, blurred vision and slurred speech. In June 2017, doctors removed a golf ball-sized mass that was pressing on her trigeminal nerve, causing facial sensation.

“I was exhausted for a long time, probably two years ago, and I didn’t know why,” Menounos recalled in a May 2018 interview Today. “Everyone told me it was because I worked so hard. Somehow it didn’t really suit me, but you have no other explanation for it – that’s your way.

However, a doctor’s visit in February 2017 confirmed it wasn’t just stress, and four months later Menounos underwent surgery, which has been accompanied by a lengthy recovery process. “It really affected my balance a lot and I had a lot of trouble with my eyes – I was seeing double and triple,” the former E! News anchor recalled. “I needed a rollator for stability for a long time.”

Back then, Menounos encouraged fans to always look for answers when something feels wrong. “Find the right doctor to help you through the exam,” she said. “People are told, ‘It’s nothing, you’re just tired and stressed,’ or ‘You’re paranoid.’ I was fortunate to have a doctor who immediately recognized that we had to act and take it seriously.”

A year before the first Today Correspondent learned about her own brain tumor, her mother Litsa Menounos was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer. Litsa passed away in May 2021 after battling the disease for more than four years.

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