Maria Menounos Diagnosed With Brain Tumor as Mom Fights Brain Cancer

Maria Menounos is on the mend after undergoing surgery to remove a golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor last month. Her mom, Litsa Menounos, is currently battling stage 4 brain cancer. Find out more in the video above. 

Maria Menounos attends the Los Angeles Premiere of The Promise at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 12, 2017.
Maria Menounos attends the Los Angeles Premiere of The Promise at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 12, 2017. Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com

“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 light-headed on-set and having headaches. My speech had gotten slurred, 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 tumor like my mom,’” the E! News coanchor, 39, recalled to People magazine. “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.”

Maria Menounos and Litsa Menounos attend the Kick Off for Golden Globes Week 2012 hosted by Audi and Martin Katz at Cecconi's Restaurant on January 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Maria Menounos and Litsa Menounos attend the Kick Off for Golden Globes Week 2012 hosted by Audi and Martin Katz at Cecconi's Restaurant on January 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. John Shearer/WireImage

Three months later, Maria had the scan and learned of her brain tumor, which was not cancerous. She had it removed and her prognosis is hopeful.

Maria has decided to step down from her E! News position following the health scare. “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,” Maria said in a statement. “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.”

Maria spoke out about her ordeal in an emotional interview on the Today show, which aired on Monday, July 3.

“For me, I saw it as a huge blessing and a huge gift because I needed to change my life,” she said, crying. “We’re caretakers as women and we help everybody and we put ourselves last always. And I don’t think — at least for me — I guess I realized I didn’t value myself in a lot of ways. And so I think that that was a really important lesson.”

Maria has been receiving support from her fiancé, Keven Undergaro, as she continues to recover from home. “I want to start a family,” she added on Today. “You realize really quickly when something like this happens that nothing else really matters.” 

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