Illness

Maria Menounos battles brain tumor while mother fights brain cancer

Maria Menounos announced on Monday that she will step down as co-anchor of E! News after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The 39-year-old has held the position since 2015 after she joined the network in 2014.

“Our thoughts and support go out to Maria and her family and we wish them all the best knowing that Maria will tackle this with the same fierce dedication she is known for,” said Adam Stotsky, president of E! Entertainment. “We are grateful for Maria’s many contributions to E! over the past three years.”

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The TV host told PEOPLE Magazine she discovered her health crisis while caring for her mother, who has stage 4 brain cancer.

“I’d been getting lightheaded on set and having headaches,” she explained. “My speech has gotten slurred and I was having difficulty reading the teleprompter.”

An MRI showed Menounos had a golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor that was pushing on her facial nerves.

“I didn’t cry,” she said. “I actually laughed. 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 previously scheduled surgery on June 8 — her 39th birthday. The procedure lasted about seven hours. And while the neurosurgeon was able to remove 99.9 percent of the tumor, which was benign, she was told there’s a six to seven percent chance it will return.

Menounos is currently at home healing and spending time with her mother. The matriarch's MRI scans show her cancer is stable.

“I don’t have my balance fully yet, but as long as I’m holding on to [my fiancé] Kevin, I’m sturdy and fine,” she said. “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.”

Despite the physical setback, Menounos insisted the diagnosis has brought her family closer.

“We’re caretakers as women and we put ourselves last,” she said. “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.”

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