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Former Sunrise Commissioner Fighting Colon Cancer

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) - Sheila Alu is someone who rarely kicks back and rests.  She's one of Broward's toughest attorneys.

Right now, she's prosecuting the case of Dontrell Melvin, he's the Hallandale Beach boy who was missing for a year and a half and found buried in his back yard.

She was an FBI informant, bringing down politicians accused of wrong doing. Years ago, her former husband, a police officer, was severely injured in an explosion, and she was a Sunrise City Commissioner until recently.

A few days ago, she delivered some stunning news.

"I think most of you know I've been diagnosed with colon cancer," she told her former commissioners.

Wrapped in a prayer shawl, Alu is recovering at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. She had surgery on Friday,

"I had no idea that I would have cancer, especially colon cancer," she said.

Today, she's still processing the fact that she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

"I told him I had diarrhea and bleeding," she recalls while talking to her doctor.  "(I) lost 22 pounds in a month.  I was quite happy about the weight loss, but we didn't know why. I had the colonoscopy and when I woke up, she said I had mass and polyps in my whole entire colon."

Alu says the tumor in her colon may have been there for 10 year and she didn't know until that colonoscopy.

Her doctor is very optimistic.

"We were able to remove the entire tumor there was nothing we left behind," said Dr. Laurence Sands from the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.  "From a surgical perspective she's having extremely good results."

Sheila hopes her coming forward will make people think about early detection.

"Had I had a colonoscopy at 40, I probably would not have developed cancer," said Alu.

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