TV host Maria Menounos had a benign tumor removed from her brain last month — and now she’s stepping down from E! News amid her recovery.
The veteran entertainer, 39, told People she was diagnosed with a tumor the size of a golf ball in February — just six months after she revealed her mom, Litsa, is battling Stage 4 brain cancer.
“I didn’t cry. I actually laughed,” Menounos told the magazine of her diagnosis. “It’s so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor — and now I have one too?”
Menounos underwent an approximately seven-hour surgery on June 8 (her birthday) to remove the tumor, during which doctors confirmed their belief that the tumor was benign. They managed to take out 99.9% of the noncancerous growth, and Menounos said there’s a 6 to 7% chance the tumor comes back.
E! News anchor Maria Menounos says her mother has a brain tumor
Now nearly a month removed from the operation, Menounos is leaving E! News after three years of anchoring the network’s evening news show and appearing on red carpet specials.
She’s making the move to focus on her wellbeing while figuring out what her next career venture will be.
“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,” she told People. “I hate secrets. 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.”
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Menounos, who got engaged to her boyfriend of 19 years Keven Undergaro last year, says she’s recovering well from the surgery but still hasn’t regained her balance yet.
“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.”
Her mother, meanwhile, got good news from a recent MRI that showed her cancer is stable.
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