Stage 2 pancreatic cancer life expectancy explored as Maria Menounos opens up on health struggle

Maria Menounos spoke on her battle with pancreatic cancer and other health problems (Image via Nathan Congleton/Getty Images)
Maria Menounos spoke on her battle with pancreatic cancer and other health problems (Image via Nathan Congleton/Getty Images)

Maria Menounos recently appeared on the podcast Not Skinny But Not Fat, where she addressed her health issues and said that her stress led to pancreatic cancer and a brain tumor. The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer in the US is 12%, and it is dependent on various factors, including stage, age, and health.

Maria said that, according to the doctors, her tumor size has doubled. Stating that she had diarrhea, she continued:

"I did all the stool tests, they came back negative, nothing was bad. I went and got a CAT scan, they said: 'You're fine.'"

Maria Menounos then did an MRI, which showed a tumor in the pancreas. It also revealed that the tumor's size had increased and that it still existed. Maria Menounos also elaborated on how she found the differences in the scans and stated:

"For this, an MRI was what's really going to see it, for other things CAT scans are better, for others things CAT scans are better, for others things an ultrasound's better."

Pancreatic cancer spreads through various stages

Some common symptoms prove that pancreatic cancer can spread. The Cancer Center stated that it can spread to various organs of the body, and its symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pain, feeling unwell, jaundice, a swollen stomach, and a lack of appetite.

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The TNM staging system for the disease uses numbers and letters to reveal the size and location of the cancer. The first is T, or tumor size, which determines if the cancer has grown to the blood vessels near the pancreas.

The second is N, which explains if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and the final is N, which determines if the cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or organs.

There are four stages of pancreatic cancer, which start with stage 0. The pancreas has abnormal cells that could become cancerous and spread to the tissues. In stage 1, cancer remains limited to the pancreas, where the tumor is 2 cm or smaller and could measure from 2 to 4 cm.

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In the second stage, there are hints of a tumor that is bigger than 4 cm and that it has spread to one of the three lymph nodes. A third stage then follows, where cancer spreads to four or more nearby lymph nodes and blood vessels near the pancreas.

The tumor could be of any size in the last stage, and it spreads to the rest of the body parts.


Maria Menounos revealed about her battle with pancreatic cancer in May 2023

In May 2023, Maria Menounos spoke to People and addressed her battle with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. She was also preparing to become a mother and said that the news of her cancer came at the same time.

Maria Menounos said that she suffered leg cramps in June last year, and the doctors revealed that she has type 1 diabetes. She was prescribed insulin, a restricted diet, and daily glucose testing. However, she also had diarrhea and daily glucose testing when her condition improved, but the tests and CT scans did not reveal anything.

Menounos' pain worsened, and a 3.9 cm mass was found on her pancreas after an MRI. It was confirmed that she had a Stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, and addressing the same, she said:

"I'm like 'How in the freaking world can I have a brain tumor and pancreatic cancer? All I could think was that I have a baby coming."
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Maria Menounos had to undergo surgery in February this year that required the excision of 17 lymph nodes, a huge fibroid, a portion of her pancreas, and her spleen. She was facing problems with moving and had to suffer a lot of pain. Menounos thanked her husband and her father, and Dr. Ryan Aronin and Dr. Timothy Donahue stated that she does not need any further treatment.

Maria revealed to People in 2017 that she contracted a brain tumor, following which she had surgery and 99.9% of the tumor was removed.

Edited by Dev Sharma