Maria Menounos Taking Break After Brain Tumor Diagnosis

Posted by Jeanne on July 3, 2017

Maria Menounos has been going through a ridiculously tough time recently and it’s hard to imagine that she’s been quietly handling this alone.  Not only is her mother battling Stage 4 brain cancer but Menounos was also diagnosed with a brain tumor.


Maria Menounos

Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

Of her symptoms, Menounos said she started “getting lightheaded on set and having headaches.” Then, she started slurring her speech and struggled to even read the teleprompter while she worked on TV and Sirius XM radio this past February.

Shockingly, an MRI revealed a golf-ball-sized meningioma brain tumor. The growth was putting pressure on Menounos’ facial nerves. How did she react to the troubling news? “I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” she recalls. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor—and now I have one too?”

Fortunately, she has been able to lean on Keven Undergaro. The pair have been together for nearly 19 years and recently got engaged.

In early June, Menounos underwent an extensive, seven-hour surgery when Dr. Keith L. Black, the physician treating her mother, was able to remove 99.9% of the tumor and, happily, declared it benign. “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. I don’t have my balance fully yet but as long as I’m holding on to Keven, I’m sturdy and fine. 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.”

For now, the media personality is taking a break from work and is reevaluating her life.  “I tell people all the time if your car is making a weird noise, you take it to the mechanic. How come when our body is making weird noises, we ignore it? I’m so lucky that I went to the doctor and raised the alarm.”

Menounos’ mother, Litsa, is currently stable.

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