Reston, VA

Janet Howell/Courtesy office of Janet HowellState Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) announced on Thursday she is recovering from breast cancer treatment.

The Reston resident, who has served in Richmond since 1992, said in her newsletter to constituents that the diagnosis was “totally unexpected” and that she finished a course of radiation treatment last week.

Said Howell:

The summer began with a totally unexpected diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer. A screening mammogram revealed an 8mm malignancy.

Biopsies, a lumpectomy and several weeks of radiation followed. The radiation was completed last week.

The treatments have totally discombobulated my schedule and I have missed many events I otherwise would have liked to attend!  I am extremely grateful for the wonderful medical care I received from all the caring professionals at Kaiser Permanente. They assure me that my prognosis is excellent.

Howell, 71, has been an advocate for expanding Medicaid in Virginia. The Republican-led Virginia General Assembly has voted against the program that would provide coverage to thousands of low-income citizens, saying Virginia will end up having to pay for it eventually.

“From this experience I have become even more aware of how important it is for everyone to have health insurance,” she said.  “Not having to worry about paying for the expensive treatment has been a blessing. I wish everyone were so fortunate. The cruelty of those who would deprive healthcare coverage to nearly 400,000 of their fellow Virginians is unfathomable to me.”

“This is especially true given that failure to expand Medicaid means turning back $5 million dollars of federal aid daily, damaging the viability of our hospitals, and spurning 30,000 well-paying healthcare jobs.”

Howell is running unopposed for re-election in November.

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