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Like many people from outside USA, I don’t really know anything about Maria Menounos. For those in the same boat, let me confirm she is a very well-known personality in USA. A journalist, television presenter and actress. She has hosted Extra and E! News; she was a TV correspondent for Today, Access Hollywood, and co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, Greece. She also co-created and is currently CEO of online podcast series network AfterBuzz TV. She is currently signed to WWE where she has served as an ambassador since 2013. She hosts the podcast ‘Conversations with Maria Menounos‘. She also has an impressive website here. All in all, she looks like an impressive and inspiring person.
News broke today that she survived “Pancreatic Cancer” and that headline is currently being shared hundreds of times around the internet. This will go on for days and by default there will be a lot of awareness for Pancreatic Cancer coming out of this news.
The story was an exclusive from US publication/website People. You can read it here (the headline is theirs not mine) – click on the blue link below.
Maria Menounos Reveals She Survived Pancreatic Cancer (people.com)
I sincerely hope Maria will recover from her surgery and get back to normal life. I wish Maria and her husband Keven, the very best ahead of the arrival of their baby girl, being born via surrogate this summer.
I also wish her the best for the recovery and hope she is getting the best attention and care from doctors who really understand Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors, particularly as she had a brain tumor removed in 2017 and there is mention of a ‘fibroid’. Given that additional information, I hope she has been, or will be, tested for MEN1 just to be on the safe side. I have received many similar comments/messages from other members of the Neuroendocrine Cancer community.
When you dig into the detail, you will see that she was actually diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine Tumor of the Pancreas, ergo, a totally different cancer. So, what you might be thinking but my point is that the because of the headline, the context of all discussions will be that she has survived a cancer with a 5-year survival rate of around 10% rather than the much higher survival rate figure found in pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (on the basis that almost certainly has a well differentiated NET at an early stage). Consequently, Neuroendocrine Cancer will lose out on awareness just as it did with Steve Jobs and Aretha Franklin (and probably many others we don’t even know about).
So how did this happen? What are the sources of the words and terms used in this story?
You can see from the link above, it’s an interview and so while the source might seem to be People, they probably would have been paraphrasing the interview from words Maria herself has said. Perhaps Maria is quoting from her written medical information or quoting from her doctor. Perhaps People decided on the headline. I doubt if this will ever be made clear.
It does mention Neuroendocrine Tumor in the text, “……a 3.9 cm. mass on her pancreas, with a subsequent biopsy confirming that it was a Stage 2 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, a form of cancer. ” But the headline is so key to how others will interpret this news, many people only read the headline and scroll on. Many stations have been reporting it adding a “what you need to know about pancreatic cancer” section, citing statistics and other medical information about a totally different cancer than the one she actually has which is so different in prognostic and therapy terms. Hopefully downstream, reporting will become more accurate. Perhaps the big US NET organisations will make contact with Maria and help with that.
What can we do to correct the record? Not a lot but ….
1. If you’re on twitter and following me @ronnyallan1, then seek out this tweet and retweet or join in the thread.
2. You could contact People direct to explain why their article headline is misleading. Their contact details to send feedback on content is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather send them a letter, you can reach them at 225 Liberty Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10281.
3. Share this post so others get the right info.
4. Also share this post on my main Facebook page – click here
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A cup of tea
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3 thoughts on “Repeat after me: Maria Menounos has Neuroendocrine Cancer”
I watched her interview on TV just a couple days ago—- as she was talking about her condition, the light bulb went off that what she barely described was NET cancer—- she even declared that Steve Jobs had it…. I have p-net too…..Amazing that our cancer still hasn’t gotten the exposure that it deserves— another opportunity gone down the drain!🤣
our awareness has gone back years (at least in US)
Great Post Ronnie- Phil