Maria Menounos has revealed she experienced a rather odd symptom leading to her being diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of cancer.
The American TV presenter, 45, recalled how she suffered excruciating pain which felt like she was going to “explode inside” after eating Farro salad on a flight in 2022.
Speaking to TODAY, Maria explained: “I thought it was the Farro. I thought I must be getting really gluten intolerant and my stomach was not handling this well.”
Maria took a trip to the doctor shortly after to check everything was okay, where she had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.
After undergoing the procedures, nothing worrying came up and the doctor suggested she should have a CT scan, which also did not find anything — with the results even describing her pancreas as “unremarkable”.
Her symptoms became persistent and also worsened with the TV personality also suffering from diarrhea and in November 2022 again being buckled over in pain.
This led to Maria getting a second opinion at another hospital in January, where she had a full-body MRI scan, which revealed a tumor in her pancreas.
She was later told the CT scan missed this because it did not show up as clearly as it does on an MRI scan.
Maria was rushed through for surgery and in February 2023 she had the tumor surgically removed.
Along with the tumor, the soon-to-be mum of two also had part of her pancreas, part of the spleen, and 17 lymph nodes removed.
Thankfully, the deadly cancer had not spread in her body and she needed no further treatment.
She has now fully recovered from her cancer and her surgery but continues to keep an eye out for symptoms, logging any concerning feelings in a book, so she can keep track.
The TV news presenter also regularly updates fans on her recovery and shows off the scars from her surgery.
Pancreatic cancer is a less common type of cancer, with around 64,000 cases being diagnosed every year, which makes up three percent of all cancer cases.
However, it is usually detected in later stages when the disease has become more advanced and spread to other areas of the body, making it harder to treat.
This is because it rarely triggers any symptoms in the early stages, and the warning signs can be so subtle they are dismissed as less serious health conditions – which was the case for Maria.
About two-thirds of patients diagnosed with this form of cancer are over 65 years old, and almost all are older than 45, according to the American Cancer Society.