Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago) is recovering from a bilateral mastectomy three months after announcing she was diagnosed with Stage 1 invasive breast cancer, her doctors confirmed Tuesday.
Mell, who represents the 40th District on Chicago's northwest side, "is doing extremely well” after undergoing the procedure Aug. 10 followed by immediate reconstruction, doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine said. She is awaiting a second-stage reconstructive procedure.
“She’s out of the woods," said surgeon Nora Jaskowiak. "She is expected to do very well.”
The 44-year-old Mell said she chose to have the surgery because of her family's history of breast cancer.
“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 a statement. “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.”
Mell was first elected to office in 2008. She is the daughter of longtime Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) and the sister-in-law of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.