Maria Menounos Describes The First Indications of Pancreatic Cancer And Claims That her Doctors Ignored Them

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In an interview with People magazine, Maria Menounos disclosed that she was given a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in January 2023. She also stated that the only reason she was able to discover the disease at an early stage was because she pushed herself.

Maria Menounos Describes The First Indications of Pancreatic Cancer And Claims That her Doctors Ignor ed Them_

The TV personality, who is presently having her first child via surrogate with her husband Keven Undergaro, revealed that she began experiencing “excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea” in November 2022. The 44-year-old woman is currently expecting her first child via surrogate with her husband, Keven Undergaro. The symptoms emerged only a few short months after she had been recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a condition that runs in her family.

According to People, despite Menounos undergoing a CT scan and rigorous testing for her gastrointestinal difficulties, the doctors were unable to find anything wrong with her.

“They reported that “everything’s fine.'” However, the pain continued,” the woman who was expecting a child told the publication. After a few weeks had passed, her pain had progressed to such an extreme level that she felt as though “someone was tearing my insides out.”

Because of this, she made the decision to undergo a full-body MRI, which showed that she had a lump measuring 3.9 centimeters on her pancreas. After further investigation, a biopsy determined that it was a stage 2 neuroendocrine tumor.

Her prognosis was favorable due to the fact that she was able to detect the problem in its early stages. “I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early,” she told People. “I need people to know. I need them to know.” “You can’t allow fear to stop you from moving forward. I had a moment where I believed I was going to die, but I’m fine now since I detected this problem in its early stages.

Maria Menounos Describes The First Indications of Pancreatic Cancer And Claims That her Doctors Ignored Them_

Menounos had surgery to remove the tumor in February, and she described the recuperation process as “extremely agonizing.” However, she does not require any additional treatment; instead, she will only require scans on an annual basis for the next five years.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the prognosis that was given to Menounos for her pancreatic cancer is highly exceptional. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers after five years.

The primary reason for this is that the cancer does not typically create any symptoms, and as a result, it is not discovered until it has progressed outside of the pancreas, at which point treatment becomes far more challenging. As was the case with Menounos, the vast majority of medical imaging modalities are unable to detect pancreatic cancer. In addition, because the pancreas is located so deep within the belly, patients with pancreatic cancer are not able to feel the disease in the same way that they might with breast cancer.

In addition, the early signs of pancreatic cancer are often difficult to recognize and may be confused with those of other illnesses. Because of this, those who specialize in its treatment advise being aware of its early symptoms and speaking up for yourself if you experience any of them, particularly if they continue for more than a few weeks.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, many individuals with pancreatic cancer report that their first symptoms were discomfort in their stomach or back. This pain may have been intermittent at first, or it may have been stronger after meals or when lying down.

Fatigue, sudden and rapid weight loss, and pain in the middle of the stomach under the breast bone are also common early indications of pancreatic cancer, according to Dr. Suneel Kamath, a pancreatic oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic. These three symptoms are all associated with the disease at an earlier stage. However, not everyone will receive these.

According to what Kamath has previously shared with TODAY.com, “What happens a lot of the time is that people either think it’s just acid reflux, that they ate something funny, or that they ascribe it to some other thing for a while.” They will go to their primary care physicians, and the majority of them will begin taking medications for acid reflux or other treatments aimed at addressing general stomach disorders.

“That’s why I emphasize anything that goes on for… five, six weeks at a time isn’t going to be your garden variety reflux, indigestion, or constipation-related stuff,” he continues, adding that because pancreatic cancer is still pretty rare, most doctors won’t assume these symptoms could be a sign of it because pancreatic cancer is still relatively uncommon.

Alex Trebek, who passed away in 2020 from pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed with the disease fewer than two years earlier, revealed in a public service announcement that he released in 2019 that one of his earliest symptoms was “persistent stomach pain.” According to the American Cancer Society, jaundice was one of the first signs that Patrick Swayze, who passed away in 2009, exhibited after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

His widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze, was recently interviewed by TODAY.com and shared the following story: “He came to me and he said, ‘Do my eyes look yellow?'” “He was having some issues with his digestive system, including pain that just wouldn’t go away. However, the yellow eyes were the primary cause of our visit to the physician. He answered, ‘Oh, we’ll go in next week.’ But the thought occurred to me, “Yellow eyes don’t sound natural. “Tomorrow is when we have to leave.'”

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 44 percent of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer before it has progressed to other regions of the body will survive for more than five years after their diagnosis. If it has spread to neighboring sections of the body, then the survival rate at five years is only 15%. If it’s dispersed widely, then the percentage is 3%.

Menounos expressed her gratitude to People magazine for the positive outcome of her battle with pancreatic cancer, especially in light of the fact that she is expecting a baby girl in the near future.

“I’m so grateful, and I’m so lucky,” she remarked. “God worked a miracle for me,” the man said. Because of this adventure, I’m going to value the fact that she is a part of my life a great deal more than I did before.

This article was first published on TODAY.com in its original form.

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