Rob Ford diagnosed with rare type of cancer, will be treated with chemotherapy

Toronto Mayor has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, his doctor said Wednesday.

“It is a difficult and very rare type of tumour,” Dr. Zane Cohen said in Wednesday evening press conference at Mount Sinai hospital, describing Ford’s cancer as a malignant liposarcoma.

“It’s a fairly aggressive tumour…but we are treating this aggressively in order to irradiate the tumour.”

Dr. Cohen said he is “optimistic” that chemotherapy could be successful. There is a tumour in his abdomen and one in his buttocks, the surgeon said.

The abdomen tumour is large — about 12 by 12 centimetres (about 4 inches). The other tumour is about two centimetres.

Chemotherapy will begin within 48 hours. Doctors will decide the next step depending on how his tumour responds to treatment.

Dr. Cohen is an expert colorectal surgeon and is leading Ford’s medical team.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteMayor Rob Ford's brother Doug Ford arrives at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Wednesday, Sept.17, 2014. Doctors are set to provide an update on Mayor Ford's health today, a full week after he was diagnosed with an abdominal tumour.

Liposarcoma is a tumour that comes from fat cells in deep, soft tissue. It makes up less than 1% of diagnosed adult cancers.

Numerous members of the Ford family visited Mount Sinai Hospital Wednesday, saying little to the media.

Mayor Ford was admitted to hospital last Wednesday after complaining of severe abdominal pain. On Thursday, doctors said a significant mass was found in his abdomen.

On Friday, Ford dropped out of the mayoral race and his brother, Doug Ford, announced he would run in his place. The one-term mayor then signed up to run for his old council seat in Ward 2.

Ford’s nephew, 21-year-old Michael Ford, pulled out of the race for Ward 2 and later registered to run for school trustee.

Mayor Ford’s father, Doug Ford, died in 2006, mere months after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

A mayoral debate at 6 p.m. between John Tory and Olivia Chow was cancelled as both mayoral candidates wished Ford well.

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