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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Importance of Brain Tumor Awareness and Research

May 12, 2016

WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) spoke to colleagues on the House floor about a proposal to designate May 2016 as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in order to increase research and treatment for the devastating disease.

Below is a video and trancsript of the speech.

Mr. Speaker,

Today, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a brain tumor.

Sadly, over 16,000 of them will lose their battle this year alone.

Many of them will be children, with brain tumors being the leading cause of death from cancer for those under 14.

Unfortunately, the treatment and removal of brain tumors present significant challenges because of the brain's uniquely complex and fragile nature, due in no small 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, over the past 30 years, there have only been four FDA-approved drugs and one device to treat brain tumors.

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.

It is clear that more must be done. 

That is why I was proud to introduce a resolution designating this May as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

Throughout the month, advocates around the country unite to educate the public about brain tumors and advocate for policies that are vital to the discovery of a cure.

Their efforts are crucial for shining a light on the difficulties associated with research on brain tumors and the opportunities for advances in brain tumor research and treatment.

I ask my colleagues to honor those who have lost their lives to a brain tumor, and please support this resolution so we can move one step closer to ending this devastating disease. 

Thank you and I yield back.