Mr. Ford’s office issued a statement on Monday saying the surgery was “a success,” and that by evening, the Etobicoke councillor was fully conscious and recovering. The announcement is the most significant development thus far in a nine-month battle for Mr. Ford against liposarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
He was hospitalized for abdominal pain in September, and diagnosed shortly after with liposarcoma. He had several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the abdominal tumour – which started at about 12 centimetres by 12 centimetres – to a size doctors could operate on. Until just a few months ago, Mr. Ford was telling reporters that if he did not have surgery soon, he likely would not survive another year.
Ford during his term as mayor, was accused of drug and alcohol abuse, and was voted to be stripped of most of his powers as chief magistrate by fellow councillors. After admitting to substance abuse and attending rehab, he mounted a comeback campaign for re-election – only to have that campaign cut short by the cancer.
Liposarcoma is a malignancy of fat cells and is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in adults. Liposarcoma normally appears as a slowly enlarging, painless, nonulcerated submucosal mass in a middle-aged person, but some lesions grow rapidly and become ulcerated early.