Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Hospitalized with an Abdominal Tumor

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was hospitalized yesterday after the discovery of a mass in his abdomen. The Mayor had complained of some abdominal pain over the past three months, which became “unbearable” in the past few days. A CT scan showed a tumor in his abdomen, and he underwent a biopsy to determine whether the mass is cancerous. Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital say that the biopsy results may not be complete for a week. Additional tests, such as an MRI will be done while they await the diagnosis.

Dr. Zane Cohen, a member of Ford’s clinical care team, said that Mayor Ford is ” resting comfortably, he has some pain — we are giving him some pain medication for that.”

Ford is no stranger to abdominal surgery, having had a tumor removed from his appendix in 2009.  In 2010, he told CTV Television Network:

“I had a major surgery on my appendix; they took out a piece of my colon. So I had a tumour in my appendix, and that’s pretty scary when that happens.”

Ford also has a family history of colon cancer, as his father, Doug Ford, Sr. died of that disease in 2006.

Ford has been in the midst of a mayoral campaign, despite his stint in rehab earlier this year for drug and alcohol abuse (including crack cocaine). It is too early to speculate how this illness will affect his political future.

There are many possibilities for this abdominal mass. Is it a recurrence of the tumor in his appendix? Is it colon cancer? Is it a metastatic tumor from elsewhere in his body? Is it a benign mass? We will return to this story when a definitive diagnosis is made.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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