Health

Maria Menounos Reveals Brain Tumor Diagnosis

| by Michael Howard
Maria Menounos in 2013Maria Menounos in 2013

E! News co-anchor Maria Menounos disclosed that she recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor from her brain.

The diagnosis came as Menounos, 39, was caring for her mother, who is battling stage 4 brain cancer.

She said she began experiencing symptoms in February.

"I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches," she told People. "My speech had gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter."

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Menounos speculated it was a brain tumor even before seeing the doctor.

"I said, 'I know you’re going to think I'm crazy but I feel like I have a brain tumor like my mom,'" she recalled telling her doctor, according to Today.

An MRI revealed a mass on her brain the size of a golf ball. Doctors told her the tumor was pushing up against her facial nerves.

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"I didn't cry. I actually laughed," Menounos said. "It's so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor, and now I have one too?"

After visiting with her mother's doctor, esteemed neurosurgeon Dr. Keith L. Black, Menouonos scheduled her surgery for June 8, which happens to be her birthday.

"He said, ' I'm 98 percent sure it's benign but we won't know until we get in there,'" she recalled her doctor saying.

The surgery, which lasted about seven hours, was reportedly a success. Dr. Black managed to remove 99.9 percent of the benign tumor.

"He said there’s a six to seven percent chance that we’ll see it come back," Menounos explained. "But I'll take those odds any day."

She is now recovering at home with her mother.

"I don’t have my balance fully yet but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine," she told People. "My face is still numb. This is something that takes at least a month of healing, but I’m getting stronger and stronger every day and I’ll be back to normal very soon."

Menounos said she views the scare as a valuable experience.

"I knew from the very beginning that this was a blessing and this was a gift," she said. "I even knew it with my mom because it brought our whole family together. I think that there have been a lot of beautiful things that have come even just from my mom’s illness."

Following her interview with People, Menounos announced that she would be resigning from her job with E! News.

"Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for," E! Entertainment President Adam Stotsky said, according to Today. "We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years."

Sources: People, Today / Photo credit: Intel Free Press/Flickr, Dustin Senger/DVIDS, Century Black/Flickr

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