Rob Ford is currently in hospital "with his family beside him" as he continues receiving treatment for cancer, a statement from his office said Thursday.

The Ford family thanked the many Torontonians who have wished the current Ward 2 councillor and former mayor well in recent weeks, but requested privacy at this time, the statement said.

Earlier Thursday, rumours circulated on social media that Ford had died.

Many, including Ford's city council colleagues and a former staffer, extended their prayers and support to him on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Doug Ford said his brother was pursuing a targeted chemotherapy under the Panov program at Mount Sinai Hospital
The treatment involves implanting a piece of tissue from a patient's tumour into mice, which then will take about three months to grow in the rodents. Researchers then test different chemotherapy treatments on the mice to see which drugs are most effective in decreasing the size of the tumours. 

Rob Ford, 46, was hospitalized last October for several days and later revealed he had a growth on his bladder. In November, his brother Doug Ford confirmed Rob had two tumours on his bladder.

Ford underwent aggressive cancer surgery last spring to remove an abdominal tumour after he was diagnosed with liposarcoma — a cancer that grows in fat cells. That initial diagnosis forced Ford to withdraw from Toronto's 2014 mayoral election campaign.