Hospital officials at Mt. Sinai say a tumor in Mayor Rob Ford’s abdomen is malignant liposarcoma, a rare type of cancer that grows in fat cells.
The tumour found in Ford’s abdomen measures about 12cm by 12cm. The cause of this type of cancer isn’t known.
Dr. Zane Cohen, who is the physician overseeing Mayor Rob Ford’s care says this is a rare cancer, making up only about 1% of all cancers. Cohen could not give an estimate for the survival rate of this type of cancer, but did say Ford’s doctors were optimistic about his prognosis.
Doctor Cohen says they are planning a treatment plan that consists of chemotherapy for three days followed by an 18 day washout period. They will repeat that treatment cycle, and once two rounds are complete they will reassess the tumor with imaging. Doctors say they will wait to see how the tumor responds to chemo and that there may or may not be a need for radiation or surgery.
Ford has been in hospital for a week now, after being admitted for stomach pains, later being transferred downtown for more comprehensive care.
Contrary to earlier media reports, Dr. Cohen says they have not performed a biopsy on Ford’s chest. He says a small nodule on Ford’s buttock was part of the same tumor. Dr. Cohen told the media that the medical team is optimistic as they begin the mayor’s treatment. He says liposarcoma is a type of cancer that is more sensitive to chemotherapy.
Several members of the Ford family have been seen coming and going from the hospital, with Ford’s wife Renata telling reporters “we have a lot of faith in doctors, and a lot of faith in God.”
As the tragic news broke, support from across the city began pouring in for the Mayor. Both Ford’s political rivals — John Tory and Olivia Chow — were first to express their sorrows, holding press conferences immediately after the breaking news.
Both candidates offered their support and prayers to Ford and his family, commenting on the strength Ford has shown in the past. Both Chow and Tory hope Ford makes a full recovery and is able to fight for his council seat in the upcoming election.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also released an official statement on the news:
“I was deeply saddened today to learn that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and that he will have to undergo chemotherapy.”
“The thoughts and prayers of all Canadians are with Mr. Ford and his family at this difficult time.”
“We wish him a speedy and complete recovery and are certain that he will take on this fight with all of his characteristic tenacity and energy.”
Former Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday joined the Bill Carroll show yesterday, also expressing his well wishes to Ford and his family but hopeful that the type of cancer Rob is suffering from is something that is treatable. A complete statemnet has also been released from Rob’s Brother Doug:
Do you think people’s current remorse for Rob Ford could potentially dwindle John Tory’s 14 point lead, (according to the latest poll,) swaying voters to cast a ballot in Doug Ford’s name?
Do you think Doug Ford could potentially drop out of the mayoral race now with news of Rob’s cancer?
– Q New Media Editor / Chris Bundas –