More information has come to light this week on the surprise depature from the Toronto mayoralty race from Rob Ford: he has been diagnosed with liposarcoma, which naturally far-left Democratic Underground has characterized as "cancer of the fat".
The prognosis is about 40 days of intensive radiation therapy, similar (but with less of a success rate compared) to the treatment millions of men have received for their prostate cancer. Almost every news article published on the topic are making it clear that this is far from a death sentence. Olivia Chow isn't about to watch another man in her life slowly fall apart during an election campaign. However, the 5-year survival rate for this cancer is about 65% (though the sigma is huge, varying wildly at which stage the cancer is discovered). The figure for prostate cancer is closer to 94%.
Nobody can say whether or not Rob Ford looks at this as a terminal illness, though, which brings me to my next major point: we're looking at a guy here who has been known to abuse drugs and is looking at a serious health issue with no guarantee of success and a potential for unpleasant treatment.
Nevertheless, for those who are diagnosed with cancer or other major medical conditions, the future can seem terrifying.It has yet to be seen if Rob Ford will pull through his cancer treatments. However, just as critically, Ford Nation needs to make sure that he pulls through long enough to receive them.
This fear about the future may be responsible for the increased risk of suicide that tragically occurs in the first week after the diagnosis of cancer. Depression or demoralization may also emerge later, particularly when there is pain or other physical symptoms. Whole-person care means treating these symptoms as vigorously as the disease itself.