Biopsy results on Ford's tumour won't be known for about a week, doctors say
Sandie Benitah and Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, September 11, 2014 11:52AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014 3:51PM EDT
Doctors performed a biopsy today on the tumour found in Mayor Rob Ford's abdomen but those results won't be known for about a week, Dr. Zane Cohen told reporters at a news conference Thursday night.
Cohen, a leading colorectal surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital, also said that a CT scan was done on the mayor’s chest for “completeness.” Tomorrow, the mayor is set to undergo an MRI for further testing.
The doctor refused to speculate on what kind of medical hurdles Ford might be facing but said they are dealing with a “fair size” mass.
When asked if he had ever diagnosed a mass that size as benign, the doctor simply said, “Yes.”
Ford is being given medication for his pain and is resting comfortably with his family by his side, Cohen said.
“We are still in a holding pattern,” he said.
Ford checked himself into Humber River Regional Hospital Wednesday afternoon after suffering from “unbearable” stomach pain.
A health official from the hospital, standing next to the mayor’s brother Coun. Doug Ford, told reporters Wednesday evening that they had discovered a tumour in his abdomen during a CT scan.
The mayor was transferred to Mount Sinai today at around 1 p.m. for a biopsy, Cohen confirmed.
Coun. Ford, who was visibly and audibly distraught Wednesday, was not at Thursday’s press conference but was spotted leaving Mount Sinai afterwards.
He told reporters he is "exhausted" and that he hasn't had any rest since his brother was admitted.
Meanwhile at city hall earlier in the day, a spokesperson for the mayor said it is “business as usual” despite the health scare.
“We are carrying on business as usual. We are dealing with the constituents that are calling us, we are helping Toronto residents and we are doing the work of the mayor’s office as we were,” Amin Massoudi told reporters outside Ford’s office Thursday morning. “I just want to reiterate the request from the mayor’s family for some privacy from the media at this difficult time. It is very important.”
Ford’s supporters and critics have come out to wish the mayor well.
Discussing Ford’s health during a break in the monthly Toronto Police Services Board meeting Thursday afternoon, police Chief Bill Blair, who has publicly clashed with the mayor and his brother, said he wishes him well.
“We have people in our organization touched by illness and all I can say is we wish the very best for Mr. Ford and for his family,” he said. “We know how stressful these things can be and I think we join the entire city in wishing him good health and a speedy recovery.”
When asked about the outpouring of support from the community, Coun. Ford said Thursday night, "it's very humbling."
"We appreciate all their wishes. We really appreciate all their thoughts," he said.
Ford’s hospitalization comes as the mayoral campaign heats up.
Tomorrow, the Ontario Home Builders' Association will hold a debate at the Prince Hotel in North York and on Sunday Evergreen CityWorks and CivicAction are hosting another debate.
Fellow mayoral candidate Olivia Chow was asked by CP24 on Thursday whether she would consider stepping back her campaign in light of Ford’s health crisis, but dismissed the idea.
“I didn’t proceed with a press conference that I was going to have this morning but I don’t think we should suspend the campaign. The vote is coming up at the end of October and the campaign continues,” she said. “It is important that the voters continue to hear what Mr. Tory and I are offering — there is a distinct difference — and what kind of mayor we would be.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the campaign trail frontrunner John Tory proceeded with a number of planned events Thursday, including a 9/11 memorial at Woodbine Park and a “Toronto the Good” party hosted by ERA Architects at the Distillery District.
According to a City of Toronto spokesperson, Ford has not requested a leave of absence or any time off at this point.
When the mayor was in rehab, there was speculation that Coun. Ford would put his name forward as a mayoral candidate in the event that his brother was unable to run. The deadline for candidates to register is tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 12.
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