Maria Menounos reveals what symptom she noticed before the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Maria Menounos learned something was wrong with her pancreas during an episode of her podcast months before her cancer diagnosis.

The 45-year-old TV personality was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, in January and had it removed the following month.

After making his illness public, “a viewer came up to me and said, ‘You predicted this last April (2022) on your show,” Menounos said. “I checked it… and it was true,” he said. in an episode of the podcast Making Spaceby journalist Hoda Kotb

Before his diagnosis, Menounos said, he had felt something was wrong for months and discussed it on his podcast, Heal Squad.

“For at least a year and a half it looked like I had swallowed a basketball,” he said. “I’ve worked out my entire career, you had flat abs. I never suffered that. What’s happening?” she asked.

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Menounos said he was tested for celiac disease but got no answers. “In March 2022 I had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, trying to get to the root of what is happening… they did not find the source. That was it,” Menounos said. “So I said, wait, the investigation doesn’t stop. “We’re still trying to figure out what’s going on,” he added.

“I kept taking pictures of (my swelling) because I was trying to eliminate things from my diet to see if it made a difference,” she continued. “I said, something is wrong and I’m going to keep investigating until I find it,” she concluded.

The following month, in April 2022, the podcast episode that the viewer pointed out to you aired. It focused on how to better tune into her body, and Menounos shared with listeners that she had been approached by the idea that her pancreas was the source of the problem.

“I think something is wrong with my pancreas,” he said, “which was followed by a whole discussion about the pancreas.” “So random. And that was two months before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes,” she added.

Menounos said she was in disbelief when she found out she had diabetes in June 2022. “The first thing I said was, ‘I don’t have this.’… At 43 years old or whatever… there’s no reason for me to have type 1 diabetes. ”.

Research shows that new onset diabetes, especially in patients over 50, may be a sign of pancreatic cancer.

In the fall of 2022 the symptoms worsened significantly. “I started having these weird abdominal pains that were super bad. “I was on a plane and I thought I was going to die,” he told Kotb, adding that she attributed it to gluten sensitivity due to a farro salad he was eating at the time.

In November 2022, the excruciating abdominal pains returned, this time along with diarrhea, which lasted for a month. “I can’t lie down, I can’t sit up. I go to the hospital and they do a CT scan,” she said.

In addition to a CT scan, Menounos had blood and stool tests, which came back “normal.”

“They said everything was fine,” but the abdominal pain persisted.

Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro
Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro at the Casamigos House of Friends Dinner on June 8, 2018 in Hollywood, California.Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

In December 2022, Menounos underwent a full-body MRI, which revealed a mass in his pancreas. A biopsy confirmed it was a stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, a rare and less aggressive type of pancreatic cancer.

Menounos said she thought she was “finished” upon hearing her diagnosis, but she was successfully treated with surgery. In addition to the tumor, doctors removed part of his pancreas, spleen, a fibroid and 17 lymph nodes.

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Menounos, who celebrated the arrival of her first baby this year, told Kotb that she is officially cancer-free. In June, Menounos and her husband Keven Undergaro welcomed their daughter, a daughter named Athena, through a surrogate.

The most common type of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma, usually has no symptoms in the early stages, but they may include abdominal pain and jaundice, back pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, dark urine , light-colored stools, and itchy skin, according to the National Cancer Institute.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Menounos partnered with PanCAN to star in a public service announcement about the importance of early detection.

“I really encourage anyone who has constant pain or symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, gas or constipation to look deeper,” Menounos told “A lot of people just want to shut their bodies up and go back to work and life and pretend it’s not happening. I’ve been there,” he added.

Menounos asks that others listen to their bodies and also advocate for their health. “I have learned that we have to be the CEOs of our health. We have to use our own internal guidance, we have to do our own homework, we have to push,” he told Kotb.

“You can’t just listen to someone else tell you what’s happening in your body,” he added, “if the pain persists, you have to keep fighting.”