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Maria Menounos Had to Push for More Tests to Get Her Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis: ‘You Can’t Let Fear Get in the Way’

Maria Menounos knew the pain she was feeling wasn’t normal, yet she had to push for an additional full-body MRI to finally get diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Speaking to PEOPLE, the E! News alum opened up about her terrifying ordeal of battling cancer while expecting her first child via surrogacy. Her journey began last fall, when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which runs in her family, and later began experiencing “excruciating abdominal pain coupled with diarrhea.”

Menounos, 44, went to the doctor to run some tests. Everything came back clear, but the mom-to-be knew something wasn’t right. “I kept having [abdominal] pains,” she explained, adding that the pain was so severe, it felt like “someone was tearing my insides out.”

A friend suggested that Menounos look into a full-body MRI. She pursued the additional test based on this casual recommendation, and lo and behold, the scan revealed a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.

Her cancer was detected at Stage 2, so Menounos’s doctors recommended that she have surgery to remove the tumor from her pancreas. She underwent the procedure — which also included the removal of her spleen, a large fibroid, and 17 lymph nodes — in February. Luckily, she is now recovering and awaiting the birth of her baby girl with her husband, Keven Undergaro.

“I’m so grateful and so lucky,” she said. “God granted me a miracle. I’m going to appreciate having her in my life so much more than I would have before this journey.”

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