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Maria Menounos secretly battled pancreatic cancer earlier this year while awaiting the arrival of her first baby via surrogate.
The journalist revealed in a new interview that she received her diagnosis in January after months of severe leg cramps and abdominal pain.
“They said, ‘Everything’s fine.’ But I kept having pains,” she told People Wednesday, comparing the pain to feeling “like someone was tearing [her] insides out.”
Following a whole-body MRI and biopsy, Menounos, 44, was diagnosed with a stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
“All I could think was that I have a baby coming,” she said.
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The entertainment reporter and her husband, Keven Undergaro, revealed in February that they are expecting their first child, a baby girl, via surrogate after nearly a decade of fertility struggles.
That same month, Menounos underwent surgery to remove a tumor, part of her pancreas, her spleen, a large fibroid and 17 lymph nodes.
Undergaro “slept in the hospital every night” after her “super painful” procedure, with Menounos unable to “move or lift [her]self up.”
The Daytime Emmy winner now feels “so grateful and so lucky” to have caught the cancer early. While she will undergo annual scans for five years, her condition does not require chemotherapy or additional treatment.
“God granted me a miracle,” she gushed. “I’m going to appreciate having [my daughter] in my life so much more than I would have before this journey.”
Menounos’ health scare comes nearly six years after she had a benign brain tumor removed.
Similarly, Menounos waited until having her successful surgery in July 2017 before letting her fans in on the journey.
“The doctors said they removed 99.9 percent of the tumor,” she told Women’s Health at the time. “Although this type of tumor sometimes regrows, he said, for me, there’s at most a 6 to 7 percent chance it will return.”
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