Maria Menounos reveals brain tumour battle, quits E! News.
The operation in early June was successful, but the tumour could reportedly return. Menounos’ mother is currently receiving treatment for stage 4 brain cancer.
The TV host thanked fans for their “prayers and support” on Monday, posting a selfie on Instagram with her mom, who is currently fighting cancer herself.
Menounos first noticed something might be wrong earlier this year.
“This February I thought I had an ear infection so I went to a doctor, and he said, ‘Your ears are the cleanest things I’ve ever seen. What else are you feeling?’ I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches. My speech had gotten slurred,” Menounos told People, adding “and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter. I said, ‘I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think I have a brain tumour like my mom.’ He said, ‘I don’t think you’re crazy. Let’s just get an MRI.’ The next week I started feeling better, so I was like, ‘I’m clearly paranoid.’ So I kept pushing the MRI.”
Menounos finally had the scan in April and was diagnosed with meningioma, a kind of brain tumour.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” Menounos said. “At that point, it was like, ‘This is a joke.” She only told her parents about her diagnosis a few days before her surgery. “Both of them just welled up,” she said. “They were just in shock, but we kept reassuring them it would be fine.”
The seven-hour surgery was completed on June 8, Menounos’ 39th Birthday, and she says that they “got 99.9 per cent of it,” though doctors do caution that there’s a 6 to 7 per cent chance of the tumour returning. “I’ll take those odds any day,” Menounos said.
Meanwhile, Menounos’ mother Litsa is reported to be “stable” after the latest scans show her malignant tumour appears to be shrinking.
Menounos’ own surgery, as well as taking care of her mother through cancer, led to the decision to leave “E! News”.
“I just want to be still for a bit and see what I’m supposed to be in this world. For me, sharing this story is important on so many levels. I hate secrets,” Menounos said. “I also want to help women realize that they have to put themselves first. I wouldn’t have ever known or imagined that this was going on if I hadn’t seen the symptoms in my mom. I want to encourage people to find some stillness in their life so they can listen to their bodies—and hear what’s going on.”
In a statement, Menounos added, “I am so grateful for the past three years at E!. I had such an amazing time co-hosting with Jason Kennedy and working everyday with the wonderful roster of talent on the show including producers, staff and crew. It was such a special, good-hearted group and one I’ll always consider family. A special thank you to Frances Berwick and Adam Stotsky for all the support they have shown me through the years especially during these tough times. I will truly miss everyone and looking forward to this next chapter in my life.”
Menounos is getting full support from her colleagues. “Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family,” said Adam Stotsky, President of E! Entertainment, “and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for. We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years.”
Menounos first started with “E! News” in 2014, and was promoted to anchor in 2015.