Maria Menounos Reveals She Had a Brain Tumor as Her Mom Battles Brain Cancer

Maria and Litsa Menounos
Jen Lowery/Splash News

Maria Menounos just went public with a scary personal struggle she's been dealing with since February. The TV and Sirius XM radio host told People that she started "getting lightheaded on set and having headaches," and explained, "My speech had gotten slurred, and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter." A visit to her doctor led to an MRI that revealed she had a golf ball–size meningioma brain tumor that was pushing on her facial nerves. And while the 39-year-old was dealing with this jaw-dropping diagnosis, Menounos's mom Litsa was also battling stage 4 brain cancer


"I didn't cry. I actually laughed," she told People of the moment she learned what was going on. "It's so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor -- and now I have one too?" 

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Menounos underwent a complex brain surgery on June 8, which also happened to be her birthday. As it turned out, the tumor was thankfully benign, and her neurosurgeon was able to remove 99.9 percent of the growth. Menounos's doctor warned that there's a 6 to 7 percent chance it will come back, but the host said she'd "take those odds any day."

She also explained of her recovery, "I don't have my balance fully yet, but as long as I'm holding on to [my fiancé] 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."

At the same time, Litsa's brain cancer is stable, according to her latest MRI. 

Menounos took to Instagram recently to share a sweet photo with her mom, writing, "First I wanna say thank you all for the well wishes, prayers and support. It's been a crazy time here in our home. I want you all to know that I'm ok! Seriously I'm recovering well and should be as good as new very very soon! Luckily I don't need any further treatments but I can't say the same about my mom. So please keep her in your prayers." She went on to thank all the amazing people who have been by her and Litsa's side as they fight for their health.

Maria Menounos and her mom

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It's amazing that Menounos can see the silver lining in this challenging time. Calling it a "blessing," she says the experience has brought her closer to her family and led her to reevaluate her life.

It's also been an important lesson in self-care. "We're caretakers as women and we put ourselves last," she explained. "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."

Wise words! Wishing both Menounos women a speedy recovery!

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