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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

HR 368 to raise awareness for metastatic breast cancer

Rep. Jeff Keicher stands in the Illinois House of Representatives. Keicher brought a bill to the House last week that will bring attention to metastatic breast cancer. (Courtesy of Jeff Keicher)

DeKALB – A resolution was brought to the Illinois House of Representatives to promote awareness for metastatic breast cancer.

Oct. 24, State Rep. Jeff Keicher, a Republican representative of Illinois’ 70th district, presented House Resolution 368, a resolution that would mark Oct. 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Illinois.

October is nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which promotes early screening of breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer, as opposed to early-state breast cancer, is when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Metastatic breast cancer claims the lives of 98% of those who die of breast cancer, according to the bill. The average life expectancy for those diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer is between 24 months and 36 months.

“Metastatic breast cancer, in particular, presents unique challenges, as it represents the stage of the disease where cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, often making it more difficult to treat,” Keicher said in a press release. “By raising awareness, HR 368 signifies our commitment as a state to promoting continued research in the fight against metastatic breast cancer and, more importantly, to honor the strength and resilience of those who have suffered from this disease.” 

According to METAvivor, an advocate group promoting awareness of metastatic breast cancer, under 5% of money for breast cancer research goes into solutions for metastatic breast cancer.

Advocates like Lisa Mayer, a Hampshire resident, has been fighting metastatic breast cancer for seven years.

“This resolution brings awareness to metastatic breast cancer and the hope for so many of us with this incurable cancer,” Mayer said in a press release.

Mayer is the one who inspired Keicher to introduce HR 368 in order to forward efforts to cure metastatic breast cancer. 

“Lisa’s journey with metastatic breast cancer has been marked by courage, hope, and unwavering spirit,” said Keicher in the release. “I hope our effort in the Illinois House of Representatives to raise awareness can be a spark of hope to all those battling this disease as they navigate treatments, side effects, and uncertainties.”

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