Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Her Cancer Has Returned

by Leah Groth
Originally Published: 
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Shannon Finney/Getty

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg started chemotherapy on May 19

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has survived multiple major health complications over the years, including pancreatic cancer in 2019, is battling cancer once again. In a statement released Friday, RBG detailed her most recent health struggle that has been going on for several months.

According to her statement, a periodic scan and biopsy in February revealed lesions on her liver. She started chemotherapy (gemcitabine) on May 19 and is still undergoing treatment. According to her most recent scan on July 7, the treatment is working, as it “indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease.”

“Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results,” RBG said.

She added that she is “tolerating chemotherapy well” and is “encouraged” by the results. And, of course, because of her superhuman abilities, she isn’t going to let her cancer get in the way of her work. “I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine. Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other Court work. I have often said I would remain a member of the Court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that.”

In May, the 87-year-old was treated for a benign gallbladder condition, but she didn’t let it get in the way of her work duties. Last summer, she battled pancreatic cancer, completing three weeks of radiation treatment.

Ginsburg has made clear her intentions to stay on the court “as long as I’m healthy and mentally agile.” Ginsburg, who was appointed to the high court by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, is a four-time cancer survivor, after all.

“There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months,” Ginsburg said during an interview with NPR. “That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive.”

Last summer, in an inspiring speech she gave at the University of Buffalo she revealed that her work in this world is not done.

“It was exhilarating to help bring down the barriers that, in Justice Brennan’s words, put women less ‘on a pedestal,’ than ‘in a cage.’ So much has changed for the better since then. True, we have not reached Nirvana, but the progress I have seen in my lifetime makes me optimistic for the future,” she explained. “Our communities, nation, and world will be increasingly improved as women achieve their rightful place in all fields of human endeavor.”

We pray that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a speedy recovery.

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