Shurtleff first sought medical treatment after having some unspecified stomach problems and had an emergency appendectomy last week. He describes it further on the video embedded below (the audio is rather faint):
After surgery, doctors will biopsy the portion of the colon to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread. It is believed to have been confined to the appendix, but when a tumor is found on the appendix, it is considered standard procedure to remove part of the colon to ensure it has not spread. Shurtleff is not expected to be sidelined for more than a couple of weeks.
Mark Shurtleff has been required to confront other health problems involving both himself and family members. After shattering his left leg while practicing for a charity motorcycle ride to raise money for a memorial for slain police officers, Shurtleff required 11 separate surgeries to heal his leg. In one case, he had his leg placed in metal halos with wires and pins being used to affix the bones to the rings; amputation was not ruled out. But he and his leg survived.
He also found it necessary to bow out of a U.S. Senate campaign against Bob Bennett because his adopted daughter Danielle, who had previously struggled with substance abuse issues, experienced a relapse.
Update December 16th: After performing the colon surgery, doctors found cancer cells in three of the 20 lymph nodes examined. Shurtleff will now undergo twelve sessions of chemotherapy over a six month period, beginning at the first of the year. Prognosis still appears good.