Troubled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been hospitalized with a suspected tumor in his abdomen, according to press reports.

The 45-year-old mayor -- previously enmeshed in a scandal involving his use of crack cocaine - entered Toronto's Humber River Hospital due to "abdominal pains that have persisted for at least three months and have become worse in the last 24 hours," the hospital announced in a much-quoted statement last night.

"Examination and investigation has resulted in a working diagnosis of a tumor," and he was admitted "to obtain a definitive diagnosis," said the hospital.

The hospital did not disclose a prognosis for Ford, who is in the midst of a grueling reelection campaign in which he is trailing the lead candidate, John Tory.

The politician was treated in the same hospital for throat and stomach problems in 2012 and admitted in 2009 to have a tumor on his appendix removed, said The Sun, a Toronto newspaper. He finished a rehab stint for drug and alcohol abuse June 30.

Ford's hospitalization comes on the heels of news that his ex chief of staff, Mark Towhey, has written a "tell all" book, "Mayor Rob Ford: Uncontrollable - How I Tried to Help the World's Most Notorious Mayor," due to be published six days before the election.

(Sheila Anne Feeney)