Back in June, Maria Menounos underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a golf ball-size tumor from her brain. Now, in a recent interview, the former E! News anchor says she thinks the stresses and toxicities of her career may have contributed to the benign meningioma.
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“I think there was a lot of bullying, a lot of toxicity [in my industry],” Menounos told Access Live about her career in television. “There’s the glitz and the glam that everybody sees — I feel incredibly blessed to be part of it — but there have been some tough times. I think that we’re kind of like, as women, we’re so tough, it’s like, ‘Suck it up. Keep moving forward. Take the kick to the gut, move forward, work hard and you’ll be fine.’”
At the same time Menounos started showing symptoms of her illness (which included lightheadedness, terrible headaches, blurred vision and speech issues) she was taking care of her mother who was battling stage 4 brain cancer. Just a few months after her mother underwent surgery, Menounos finally went to the doctor and got her startling diagnosis.
“I think chronic stress on the body is really bad,” she continued. “I mean, as women, you know, we put ourselves last and we put our health last. I postponed that MRI for months because I thought I was crazy. I thought I was being paranoid. I was putting my mom’s health first— which, I mean, it’s understandable. It was critical. But we have to focus more on ourselves.”
In fact, many people believe that stress causes cancer, but scientific studies have yet to establish a link between the two. In fact, breast cancer is the only type of cancer linked to intense stress. While the causes of brain cancer are unknown, the best prevention method is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to avoid certain risk factors. (Here are four simple ways to prevent brain cancer.)
Since giving up her high-profile gig at E! News, Menounos is taking it a bit easier these days. Currently she hosts a radio show “Conversations With Maria” on Sirius XM and is trying to conceive a baby via IVF with husband Keven Undergaro.
“I just want to be still for a bit and see what I’m supposed to be in this world,” Menounos told People last year about her post-surgery life. “For me, sharing this story is important on so many levels.”
Keep doing what you are doing, Maria!
Check out LIVESTRONG’s exclusive interview with Maria Menounos about how she found out she had a brain tumor.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you believe stress causes brain tumors? What other factors do you suspect could be linked to brain cancer? Do you think Maria’s story has encouraged other people to check out their undiagnosed symptoms?