U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently underwent three weeks of radiation treatment following the discovery of a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, a court spokesperson announced Friday.
Ginsburg, 86, began radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City on August 5th, according to the court. Doctors from the hospital said tests show that the rest of the justice’s body is cancer-free. As part of Ginsburg’s treatment, doctors inserted a stent into her bile duct.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City,” the court’s statement reads. “The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor.”
“She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule,” the statement added. “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.”
Ginsburg, the liberal face of the Supreme Court, has fought cancer on and off for roughly two decades. She underwent a procedure to remove malignant nodules from her left lung on December 21st of last year. The cancerous growths were discovered while receiving treatment for a fall in her office. Ginsburg missed the court’s oral arguments for several days in February, participating in cases using transcripts — a first in the justice’s 25-year tenure on the bench.
Ginsburg has experienced several health issues in recent years. The justice underwent cancer surgeries in 1999 and 2009 and broke her ribs in at least two separate occasions. In 2014, Ginsburg had a stent inserted into her heart.
Appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg dismissed calls to retire from the nation’s highest court during then-President Barack Obama’s second term, when a confirmation process for a liberal judge appeared less volatile due to a Democrat-controlled Senate.
Last year, Ginsburg signaled she intends to remain on the bench by hiring law clerks for at least two additional terms. In an interview last December, Ginsburg affirmed her commitment to remain a justice for “as long as I can do it full steam.”