Rob Ford Diagnosed with Cancer


Medical staff belonging to Mount Sinai Hospital has diagnosed the 45 year-old Toronto mayor Rob Ford as having a rare, and frequently aggressive, form of cancer. According to reports, Mayor Ford has been suffering pain in his abdomen for several months and has been hospitalized for over a week. Mayor Ford later confirmed the announcement made by the physicians at Mount Sinai in a speech and has stated that he is not seeking re-election but will rather begin chemotherapy. The chemotherapy is believed to have begun today at Mount Sinai. Instead of continuing his mayoral campaign, Mayor Ford’s brother, the 49-year-old city councilor Doug Ford, has instead taken over the reigns. Both brothers are sons of the late Doug Ford, Sr., who was a member of the Ontario provincial parliament for four years.

Major Ford has been diagnosed with malignant liposarcoma, which is a type found in only around 1% of all tumors. As this form often consists of over 60 different types of cells, it can often prove difficult to treat. Malignant liposarcoma tumors are typically found within fatty or connective tissues within the body and can be located nearly anywhere. Often, these tumors are found within the abdomen, due to the concentration of body fat found there. Tumors are frequently rather large, Mayor Ford’s is believed to be around six inches in circumference, as they can push organs and tissues aside to allow for their own growth while remaining asymptomatic. It is not known what can cause these tumors to form, although there is likely some form of genetic component.

Mayor Ford has released an audio statement just a few hours before beginning chemotherapy today claiming that he is hopeful that he will be able to fight the cancer back into remission. His treatment will most probably be very complex, involving a cycle of over two weeks of chemotherapy followed by at least two weeks of rest in order to halt the spread of the tumor. A second tumor has already been found in Mayor Ford, although much smaller in size. Once the spread of the tumor has been halted it may be possible to surgically remove the pair. This treatment cycle is not always successful, however many patients with malignant liposarcoma have been under treatment for the cancer for a decade or more. The five-year survival rate of those with malignant liposarcoma hovers just over 55%. The ten-year survival rate among malignant liposarcoma patients is just under 40%.

Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto in 2010. His first few years as mayor was relatively uneventful, however he became famous internationally after the release of a video where he purportedly smoked crack cocaine. Like in most of the world, this drug is illegal in Toronto. As a result the Toronto City Council stripped him of his duties and pressured him to step down. Mayor Ford had refused to step down from his position, even seeking a controversial re-election prior to his diagnosis. He had returned to his post in June, after spending eight weeks in a drug rehab facility. It is unknown whether he would again seek re-election if his upcoming treatment were successful.


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