Rob Ford ’99 Percent Sure’ Cancer Has Returned

Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s councillor Rob Ford, the formerly embattled mayor who dodged barbs with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, is reasonably sure that the cancer diagnosis he was facing earlier this year has returned.

Rob Ford told reporters that he had only recently undergone a biopsy on a tumor that was either grown on his bladder or, at the very least, was pressed up against it. While there was still hope that the tumor was benign, Rob Ford acknowledged that the reality of his cancer diagnosis was that it was a type of cancer that could spread. As a result, he was prepared for the news that he was facing yet another malignancy.

According to the Toronto Star, Rob Ford was feeling shooting pain through the right side of his torso about a month ago, which led him to seek further medical aid, and that was when the new tumor was discovered.

Ford was diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, earlier in 2015, and he had tumors removed from his abdomen in May. Rob Ford told the Toronto Star that he had been feeling better than he had ever felt before, although he still was wearing an abdominal bind and drain from May’s 10-hour surgery.

Rob Ford is married with two children, and he expressed concern about his family should this latest cancer bout be a harbinger of an earlier-than-expected demise.

“If I pass before my time, I just ask people to please try to help out (his young children) Dougie and Stephanie and (wife) Renata in any way you can,” he said.

Rob Ford "99 Percent Sure" Cancer Has Returned
[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]

Rob Ford’s brother and best friend Doug, who lost to John Tory in his bid to become Toronto’s mayor, said that the latest news regarding his brother’s health was “shattering” and said that his brother’s cancer battle this time would be a lot tougher than it was the first time.

Rob Ford made international headlines when news broke that he had allegedly, while in office, used crack cocaine and had been seen publicly while stoned.

According to Modern Pathology, pleomorphic liposarcoma is sufficiently rare and, as a result, there are limited studies about the long-term prognosis for the disease. This would appear to be borne out by Rob Ford’s own medical team. Dr. Longo of his medical team said last fall that even if all the cancer was able to be removed surgically, the current Toronto city councillor would still only have “about a 50/50 chance of beating it.”

Rob Ford "99 Percent Sure" Cancer Has Returned
[Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images]

Regarding the new potential diagnosis, however, it would appear that Rob Ford remains optimistic.

Since the initial diagnosis, Rob Ford has undergone a battery of treatments, including chemotherapy. His colleagues on city council tweeted their best wishes for the former mayor.

While there continues to be those individuals that are detractors of Rob Ford — individuals who continue to denigrate the mayor for poor choices he has made in the past — certainly a cancer diagnosis is not anything laughable. According to a Toronto Star report about pleomorphic liposarcoma, the condition is the rarest of the four sarcomas, and with a 56 percent five-year survival rate, Rob Ford may certainly be in for a dramatic fight against any recurrent malignancy.

Dr. Howard Bailey of the University of Wisconsin, who was interviewed for the Toronto Star piece, said that the longest he had seen anyone survive with pleomorphic liposarcoma was about five to 10 years and that the combination of an abdominal tumor and a nodule in the buttocks could be “very poor” news for Rob Ford in the long run.

However, results have not yet returned on Rob Ford’s biopsy. This has not stopped Toronto’s former mayor for gearing up for another cancer battle, though. He noted that he is ready to step into Mount Sinai Hospital for further chemotherapy and possible surgery as soon as possible. Rob Ford said that if two rounds of chemotherapy went well, he could be facing surgery early next year.

“That’s my Christmas gift,” Rob Ford said.

[Image via West Annex News (Flickr: Rob_Ford_meets_the_press_2) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

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