Illinois Rep. Mell recovering after breast cancer surgery

Photo: Illinois House Democrats

Illinois Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) is recovering after a breast cancer procedure, according to a statement released by her doctors at University of Chicago Medicine Tuesday.

In June, Mell said she was diagnosed with Stage 1 invasive breast cancer and would seek a second opinion.

Mell, 44, had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction Aug. 10 and is waiting for a second reconstructive procedure, according to the statement.

“Rep. Mell is doing extremely well,” said her surgeon, Nora Jaskowiak, MD, associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. “She’s out of the woods. She is expected to do very well.”

Mell’s lymph nodes were not affected and tissue around the tumor was found to be cancer-free, making her prognosis very good, Jaskowiak said.

Mell chose to have to the procedure due to her family’s history of the disease. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 43.

“After learning from my mother’s experience, speaking with other diagnosed women and consulting with my doctors, my wife, Christin, and I knew this was the right course of action for us,” Mell said in the media release. “We can’t express enough gratitude for Dr. Jaskowiak and her surgical team, Dr. Song and his reconstructive team, all the nurses and hospital staff for the excellent care we received throughout this process.”

After the reconstructive procedure, Mell will begin taking tamoxifen, a drug that blocks the effects of estrogen, for five years in order to prevent a reoccurrence, according to release.