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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Introduces Resolution Recognizing May as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month

May 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced a bipartisan resolution designating May 2017 as “National Brain Tumor Awareness Month,” when brain tumor advocates nationwide unite in awareness, outreach, and advocacy activities. He introduced a similar resolution last year.

“I am proud to re-introduce this resolution in hopes of re-focusing our attention on ending this devastating disease,” said Rep. Quigley. “President Obama’s cancer ‘moonshot’ initiative moved us in the right direction, but much more work remains to address the challenges involved in finding a cure for all forms of cancer, including brain tumors. From increasing awareness and understanding to improving research and treatment options, together we can help save lives.”

Unbeknownst to many, brain tumors are the leading cause of death from cancer in children under the age of 14, second leading cause of death from cancer for children and teens under the age of 20, and third leading cause of death from cancer in young adults ages 20 to 39. Almost 78,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with a primary brain tumor last year, and up to 170,000 more were diagnosed with metastatic brain tumors that were the result of cancer spreading from another part of the body to the brain. Sadly, over 16,000 people in the United States were estimated to have lost their battle with a brain tumor last year.

The treatment and removal of brain tumors present significant challenges because of the brain's uniquely complex and fragile nature, due in part to there being more than 120 different types of tumors. While brain tumor research is supported by a number of private nonprofit research foundations and by institutes at the National Institutes of Health, there still remain daunting obstacles to the development of new treatments. Moreover, there are currently no strategies for screening or early detection of brain tumors.

Despite the number of new people diagnosed with a brain tumor every year, and their devastating prognosis, there have only been four FDA-approved drugs and one device to treat brain tumors in the past 30 years. On top of that, the four approved drugs have provided only incremental improvements to patient survival, and mortality rates remain little changed over the past 30 years. There is clearly a need for greater public awareness of brain tumors, including the difficulties associated with research on these tumors and the opportunities for advances in brain tumor research and treatment.

Rep. Quigley’s resolution is endorsed by the American Brain Tumor Association, Society for Neuro-Oncology and the National Brain Tumor Society. Co-sponsors include Reps. Frederica S. Wilson, G. K. Butterfield, Alcee L. Hastings, Nydia M. Velázquez, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Lucille  Roybal-Allard, Marcy  Kaptur, Janice D. Schakowsky, Robin L. Kelly, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Debbie  Dingell, James P. McGovern, Daniel Lipinski, Mike Bost, Danny K. Davis, Ted Lieu, Steve Cohen, Dwight Evans, Jamie Raskin, Yvette D. Clarke, and Bobby L. Rush.