In December 2022, about a year and a half ago, Maria Menounos received the horrifying news that she had pancreatic cancer. Since then, the TV and podcast host has had surgery to remove the tumor along with her spleen, a fibroid, and 17 lymph nodes. She has also turned into an ardent supporter, striving to increase public awareness of the illness. It’s a crucial job since, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose because the organ is situated too deep in the abdomen for medical professionals to feel or see tumors, and because symptoms aren’t always evident. Menounos’s route to a diagnosis, which included several missed indications and months of doctor appointments, serves as an example.
During a recent episode of Hoda Kotb’s podcast, Making Space, Menounos talked about how she had been experiencing severe bloating for several months prior to receiving her diagnosis. She said, “I looked like I swallowed a basketball for at least a year and a half or so.” In March 2022, Menounos stated, she had a test for celiac disease and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy in an attempt to “get to the root of what’s happening,” but the physicians “didn’t find the source.”
She continued, “I was attempting to exclude items from [my] diet to see if there was a difference, so I kept snapping pictures of [my bloating]. “I told myself that there was a problem and that I would keep looking for it until I found it.”
Eight months before receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, in April 2022, Menounos suggested that her pancreas might be the issue on an episode of her own podcast, Heal Squad. Menounos recounted the incident, saying, “[I said,] ‘I think something’s wrong with my pancreas,'” and that “a whole discussion about the pancreas” ensued. She described her remarkably precise prediction as “so random.”
Menounos began to have new-onset diabetes in June 2022, which is another sign of pancreatic cancer. Menounos recalled, “I said, ‘I don’t have this,’ first.” “I have no reason to develop Type 1 diabetes at 43 years old or older.” In retrospect, it appears that doctors overlooked this further warning indication. Research suggests that newly developing diabetes in adults over 50 “may be an early symptom of pancreatic cancer,” according to PanCAN. having diarrhea and what she had previously described as “excruciating” stomach discomfort. Menounos’s agony persisted even after CT scans, blood tests, and stool examinations revealed nothing abnormal. Ultimately, a growth on her pancreas was discovered during an MRI in December 2022. A biopsy later identified the abnormality as a stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
Menounos was fortunate to have been diagnosed with cancer at an early stage and to have had the means to receive treatment. However, during the course of the year, Menounos’ doctors missed several symptoms even with those resources. The E! News alum is committed to sharing her experience because it validates the strength of persistence and self-advocacy in the doctor’s office.
Menounos stated earlier this month in a PanCAN ad that the best thing you can do for your health is “early detection, paying attention to your body and the signals it’s giving you.” “I want people to realize that they need to pay attention and take charge of their health.” According to PanCAN, signs of pancreatic cancer specifically can include back or abdominal pain, sudden-onset diabetes, jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, changes in stool, and enlargement of the pancreas (also known as pancreatitis).
It’s important to be aware of the signs of cancer and other health problems and to make sure that medical professionals give your worries due consideration. Menounos emphasized, “You can’t just listen to somebody else tell you what’s happening in your body.” “If the suffering continues, you must not give up.”
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