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Maria Menounos and Her Mom Had Brain Tumors — inside the TV Reporter's Health Struggles

Edduin Carvajal
Sep 24, 2020
10:00 A.M.

TV personality and podcaster Maria Menounos, who has also been a professional wrestler for WWE, had a brain tumor, just like her mother, Litsa.


Back in July 2017, Maria made headlines after revealing that doctors found a tumor in her brain. To make matters worse, her diagnosis came while she was taking care of her mother, Litsa Menounos, who has been dealing with stage 4 brain cancer since 2016.

Don't stop searching for the answers.

Maria Menounos on March 9, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Maria Menounos on March 9, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images


During an interview with People, Maria revealed that she started experiencing troublesome symptoms, including headaches and dizziness while on set in February 2017.

Apart from that, the TV host was having trouble with her speech (it was getting slurred) and reading the teleprompter, so she went to the hospital to make sure everything was okay.


Through an MRI, doctors found a golf-ball-sized meningioma tumor that was actually pushing on her facial nerves, causing the difficulties that Maria had been dealing with. The TV personality confessed that, instead of crying, she laughed when she learned her diagnosis. Maria added:


"It's so surreal and crazy and unbelievable that my mom has a brain tumor — and now I have one too?"



Shortly after finding the brain tumor, Maria Menounos made an appointment with renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Keith L. Black, the same doctor treating her mother, to schedule a surgery and remove the lump.

Dr. Black pointed out that he was "98 percent" positive the tumor was benign, but he still needed to study it to know it for sure.


The medical procedure was scheduled for June 8, 2017, Maria's 39th birthday. Fortunately, the seven-hour surgery was successful, and Dr. Black was able to remove 99.9 percent of the tumor, which was benign, just like he predicted.

Dr. Black pointed out that there was only a six-to-seven-percent chance for the tumor to reappear, but Maria admitted that she would take those odds "any day."



About a year after the surgery, Maria Menounos shared during an interview with "Today" some details on what she felt before finding the lump in her brain, revealing that she thought it was all related to stress.

The TV personality also admitted that her body needed time to heal after the medical procedure. She dealt with balance problems and even had double and triple vision issues.


Before saying that finding the right doctor was important in such cases, Maria made an analogy about human bodies and cars to recommend people visit the doctor when their bodies start "making noises." She added:

"Don't stop searching for the answers because if you know something is off, then something is off."



Sadly, Maria Menounos' mom has not been as lucky as her daughter. In October 2019, the TV personality and podcaster revealed that Litsa had a tumor recurrence even though she had been "stable" for months.

Maria confessed that it has been a "rough little time" and that, since her mother has glioblastoma, tumor recurrences are expected. However, it is something that nobody wants to hear happen.


She was also critical of the medical system in the US and the "limitations financially," pointing out that they were seeking treatment in Mexico and trying to avoid radiation as much as possible.

The podcaster and TV personality revealed that her mom was originally scheduled to have surgery, as well, but her doctor advised otherwise as it was not "the best option" for her.


At the moment, Maria is married to Keven Undergaro. The couple got engaged in March 2016 after being together for 19 years! The ceremony, officiated by comedian Steve Harvey, was shown live from the Times Square as part of Fox's New Year's Eve broadcast.

Maria Menounos' husband hosts his own podcast, "The Tomorrow Show with Keven Undergaro," and he is the co-creator of AfterBuzz TV, an online broadcast network.

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