Talking to PEOPLE, the E! Information alum opened up about her terrifying ordeal of battling most cancers whereas anticipating her first youngster by way of surrogacy. Her journey started final fall, when she was recognized with Kind 1 diabetes, which runs in her household, and later started experiencing “excruciating stomach ache coupled with diarrhea.”
Menounos, 44, went to the physician to run some exams. Every little thing got here again clear, however the mom-to-be knew one thing wasn’t proper. “I stored having [abdominal] pains,” she defined, including that the ache was so extreme, it felt like “somebody was tearing my insides out.”
A buddy advised that Menounos look right into a full-body MRI. She pursued the extra check based mostly on this informal advice, and lo and behold, the scan revealed a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.
Her most cancers was detected at Stage 2, so Menounos’s docs really useful that she have surgical procedure to take away the tumor from her pancreas. She underwent the process — which additionally included the elimination of her spleen, a big fibroid, and 17 lymph nodes — in February. Fortunately, she is now recovering and awaiting the start of her child lady along with her husband, Keven Undergaro.
“I’m so grateful and so fortunate,” she stated. “God granted me a miracle. I’m going to understand having her in my life a lot greater than I’d have earlier than this journey.”
What’s pancreatic most cancers?
Because the title suggests, pancreatic most cancers begins within the pancreas, a 6-inch organ that sits behind the abdomen and merchandise hormones that management blood-sugar ranges.
There are two essential forms of pancreatic most cancers: exocrine tumors, which account for 90 p.c of instances, and neuroendocrine tumors, that are a lot rarer. (Menounos was recognized with the latter.) Widespread signs embrace jaundice, darkened urine, higher stomach ache, center again ache, bloating, and fatigue.
Based on the American Most cancers Society, pancreatic most cancers accounts for about 3 p.c of all cancers in the USA however 7 p.c of all deaths from most cancers. It additionally has the lowest five-year survival charge of all cancers.
That is largely as a result of sufferers often aren’t recognized till the illness has progressed. Early-stage tumors typically don’t present up on CT scans, as was the case for Menounos.
Getting recognized early may need saved Maria Menousnos’s life.
Menounos is fortunate to have been recognized at an early stage, when her most cancers was nonetheless very treatable. That’s why she has chosen to share her story and encourage different folks experiencing comparable signs to advocate for themselves.
“If you’re met with a possible demise sentence, the whole lot modifications,” Menounos advised PEOPLE. “I would like folks to know there are locations they will go to catch issues early. You possibly can’t let concern get in the way in which.”
“I had that second the place I believed I used to be a goner — however I’m OK as a result of I caught this early sufficient,” she added.
Her most cancers prognosis additionally comes only a few years after she needed to have a big however benign mind mass eliminated.
“How within the freaking world can I’ve a mind tumor and pancreatic most cancers?” the podcast host joked.