At age 86, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues to defy critics who claim her health may make her unfit to serve on the country’s highest court. Case in point: She just survived a bout with pancreatic cancer. It was her fourth battle against the disease.
According to a statement from the U.S. Supreme Court, the cancer was first detected in a routine blood test in July. After a biopsy confirming a malignant tumor, Ginsburg underwent a three-week course of radiation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The treatment was successful, the press release reports:
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 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. . . . 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.
The liberal justice is outnumbered 5-4 by conservatives on the country’s highest judicial bench. She has repeatedly said that she’ll continue working until she feels she’s unfit to do so. She previously suffered from colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, and she had two nodules removed from her lung in December 2018—discovered, as CNN notes, only after Ginsburg fell in her office and fractured three ribs the month before.
Despite these medical issues, Ginsburg has continued working with the famous tenacity that was on full display in the recent hit documentary RBG, which debuted in mid-2018. The same day she was treated for broken ribs in 2018, she was “up and working” in her hospital room.
This latest hurdle seems no different, as the Supreme Court press release notes: “She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule.”