Former DWTS Star Reveals Multiple Scars From Cancer Recovery


Maria Menounos


Maria Menounos opened up about her surgery scars.

A former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant recently shared a revealing photo on social media that came with a heavy explanation. Maria Menounos shared she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January, but she did not reveal the diagnosis publicly until May. She has since disclosed additional details regarding her diagnosis and recovery.

Here’s what you need to know:

Maria Menounos Showed Her Scars in a Bikini Selfie

After Menounos was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she faced an essential surgery. As she revealed in an Instagram post on July 9, the surgery left her with a handful of scars across her abdomen. The former “Dancing with the Stars” semi-finalist told People she was diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer after a tumor that measured 3.9 centimeters was found. The surgery removed the tumor along with her spleen, part of her pancreas, 17 lymph nodes, and a large fibroid. The February 16 surgery was “super painful,” Menounos recalled, adding, “I couldn’t move or lift myself up.”

In her new Instagram post, Menounos explained, “I look back on surgery earlier this year and am grateful for the strength god blessed me with to get through and of course all of the beautiful humans that he sent to help me too!” The selfie she shared showed her wearing a brown bikini as she stood in her bathroom. Several small scars could be seen across her abdomen, just below her belly button. The skin was slightly lighter around each scar in comparison to the skin across the rest of her midriff, and she explained why. “Now I see the scars that I sunscreen up carefully to protect and I smile.”

According to the University of Michigan, “If you do not use sunscreen, the scar line will react differently to the sun than the surrounding skin. If you don’t use sunscreen, the scar tissue will become darker than the surrounding skin. This is a hyper-pigmented scar and will remain darker than the other skin.” Typically, however, “After one year, the scar and surrounding skin should react equally to sun.”

Menounos’ Battle Has Inspired Others

Menounos’ selfie showcasing her scars had fans flooding her comments section with praise and support.

“Your scars show people that they can heal,” suggested one supporter.

Another fan praised, “Glad you wear your battle scars proudly, as do I. You look beautiful!”

“Those aren’t scars Maria those are Warrior wounds always remember that, much love,” someone else added.

A separate commenter quoted author Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle,” by sharing, “the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever it was that had tried to hurt me.”

When initially revealing her cancer diagnosis, the former “Dancing with the Stars” semi-finalist told People, “This whole year has been trauma, stress, crisis. There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much. I thought, ‘I just need to heal.’” As the Mayo Clinic notes, pancreatic cancer is rarely found in its early stages, because it is difficult to detect. During an episode of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast, Menounos admitted she was “gutted” by the diagnosis, and the timing of it.

At the time she was diagnosed, Menounos and her husband, Keven Undergaro, were a Couple of months into a surrogacy and they are expecting their first child soon. Menounos initially expected the worst possible outcome with her pancreatic cancer, and recalled worrying, “I can’t believe I’m finally going to have a baby and I’m not going to get to meet her.”

She also learned an earlier MRI had captured the tumor, which was 2 centimeters, then, but technicians did not catch it. “By the time they found it, it was almost four centimeters. It had doubled in size in two months.” Her prognosis now is good, although People noted Menounos has to have yearly scans for the next five years to monitor the situation. “I’m so grateful and so lucky,” the “Dancing with the Stars” alum admitted.


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