TORONTO (AP) — Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Thursday he will undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his abdomen.
Ford said he got good news from his doctors and will undergo surgery May 11. He met with his doctors and said he was told chemotherapy and radiation has shrunk the tumor to a size where the doctors can operate.
Ford was diagnosed with malignant liposarcoma last year, forcing him to quit his bid for re-election for mayor. He ran for his old seat in city council instead and won.
After months of denials, Ford in 2013 acknowledged he had smoked crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupors," but he refused to resign. The City Council stripped Ford of most of his powers but lacked the authority to force him out of office because he wasn't convicted of a crime.
"I'm just lucky to be alive today, and I'm just lucky that I'm getting another chance at life," Ford said.
Liposarcoma is rare, a type of soft tissue cancer that begins in fat cells, or fatty tissue, and occurs most often in older adults. Another tumor, in his back, had "pretty well disappeared," he said.
He said he'll undergo an eight to 10 hour surgery and will be in hospital for 10 to 14 days. He hopes to return to work in September.
"We are all hoping for the very best and looking forward to him being back at full strength" Current Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement.