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After doctors found that his cancer has spread, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff now plans to go through chemotherapy during the next six months.
"They found some cancer cells in three of the 20 lymph nodes that they checked" after Shurtleff had surgery last week to remove eight inches of his colon because of cancer there, said Paul Murphy, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.
"So he will go through 12 rounds of chemotherapy beginning in January that will last about six months," he said. "It's an aggressive type of chemo, so hopefully it will kill the cancer dead."
Murphy said he is unsure how much time Shurtleff may need to take off because of the treatments.
"Doctors say everyone reacts differently. But he has certainly proven to be stronger than most folks," Murphy said. "He was back at work two days after an appendectomy. He was home three days after intensive surgery where they cut out part of his colon and went through his whole insides looking for cancer. He likely will lose his hair and will be tired. But I won't be surprised if he comes back to work."
Murphy added that Shurtleff is recuperating at home from surgery last week, "and is planning on spending the holidays with his family and is taking a well-needed vacation."
Murphy said, "The good news is they discovered the cancer early, and that gives him a much better chance."
Two weeks ago, Shurtleff went in for an appendectomy and doctors discovered the cancer. Until then, he had never experienced serious health issues other than trouble with his leg after a serious motorcycle accident.