- Associated Press - Sunday, July 30, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Sen. Shelley Hughes said she will stay on the job after recently announcing that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Hughes’ doctor found something suspicious during a mammogram exam earlier this year, she told the Juneau Empire (https://bit.ly/2vj7PZB). The 59-year-old Republican state senator from Wasilla is serving her first term.

Hughes was supposed to return to the doctor in April but pushed it off until the extended regular session and two special sessions were over, she said.

She posted a video on Facebook July 25 announcing the diagnosis to her constituents to dispel rumors that had already begun circulating about her health. Hughes shared how it felt to be a public official with a life-changing diagnosis.

“When you choose the life of a public servant, your life is not your own in the same kind of way,” she said.

After her video, Hughes said she received hundreds of messages on social media from people offering their support.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and former Anchorage Rep. and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Toohey also reached out to tell Hughes that she could beat it.

Hughes said she not going anywhere and promised to continue serving her district.

“Basically, I’m taking the bull by the horns here and rip-roarin’ to go to beat this thing,” she said on Thursday while in Juneau for the Legislature’s one-day special session.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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