It will take up to a week for biopsy results to reveal the mayor's diagnosis.
On Thursday evening Dr. Zane Cohen, a colorectal surgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital who is overseeing the medical team taking care of the mayor, updated members of the media on Rob Ford’s condition, following news Wednesday that a tumour had been discovered in his abdomen. Ford was moved to Mt. Sinai today, Cohen said, because of their expertise in radiology. They have commenced further testing, but do not yet have a diagnosis—it may take up to a week to get the results of a biopsy. Until then, the severity of the mayor’s condition will remain unclear.
Hovering over this news: Friday is the last day for candidates to officially withdraw from the municipal election. Doug Ford, who spoke yesterday when the tumour was first announced, was not present at today’s press conference, and there is no word on whether the mayor is considering withdrawing from the election.
A summary of Cohen’s update:
- Today at Mr. Sinai, medical staff conducted a second CT scan of the mayor’s abdomen (a first one was conducted Wednesday at Humber River Hospital), as well as a biopsy of the mass in his abdomen, a CT scan of his chest, and an ultrasound. On Friday the mayor will have an MRI, and physicians will have a “multi-disciplinary discussion between different clinical members to decide on next steps.”
- The results of the biopsy will not be available “for about a week. Until then,” Cohen said, “there’s very little I can tell you in terms of what we might have to do.” He emphasized that “as doctors we don’t deal with possibilities; we deal with facts. We don’t have those facts yet.” He also warned against speculating about the mayor’s condition or diagnosis.
- The mayor is “resting comfortably. He has some pain. We are giving him some pain medication for that. He’s surrounded by family members, and that’s about it—we are still in a holding pattern.” Cohen said that his level of pain was not a clinical indication of his condition: it is not necessarily significant in terms of his diagnosis.
- When asked whether Ford’s father’s medical history was relevant—Doug Ford, Sr. died of colon cancer in 2006—Cohen said, “I do not believe so… [Right now] there’s no theory.”
- The mass is in Ford’s mid-to-lower abdomen, and is not necessarily in his colon. “we are not entirely sure at the moment,” Cohen said.
- The chest CT and duplicate abdominal CT were conducted “for completeness.”
- Ford’s condition is compatible with a wide range of diagnoses, and Cohen said that masses the size of the mayor’s can be benign. He also said that it was unclear whether there was just one mass; Ford’s medical team will “have a discussion amongst ourselves about that” as more test results come in.