Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said her cancer has returned and she began receiving chemotherapy treatments in May. The 87-year-old Ginsburg said her most recent scan on July 7 showed a "significant reduction" of liver lesions and no new disease. She has no plans to retire and worked through her recovery.
In a new statement on Friday, Ginsburg said she started chemotherapy on May 19 "to treat a recurrence of cancer." A scan and biopsy on Friday showed lesions on her liver. "Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results," Ginsburg wrote. "Satisfied that my treatment course is now clear, I am providing this information."
The justice said she is "tolerating chemotherapy well" and is "encouraged by the success" of her treatments. "I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine," Ginsburg wrote. "Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other Court work." At the end of the statement released by the Court, Ginsburg once again reiterated that she has no plans to retire "as long as I can do the job full steam." She remains "fully able to do that," Ginsburg wrote.
Ginsburg has been treated for cancer four times, starting in 1999 when she was treated for colorectal cancer. In 2009, she was treated for pancreatic cancer and had cancerous growths removed from her lungs in December 2018. Last year, she had a cancerous tumor on her pancreas. Ginsburg was also hospitalized earlier this week for possible infection but was released after only a day in the hospital. In May, she had a nonsurgical treatment for a benign gallbladder condition and still took part in oral arguments from the hospital, notes NPR. According to Ginsburg, these recent hospitalizations were unrelated to her cancer reoccurrence.
Ginsburg, who has been on the Supreme Court since 1993, is not the only member of the court to face a recent health issue, but she is far more open about her health than other justices. Chief Justice John Roberts, 65, tripped near his home in Washington, D.C., and needed to be hospitalized for a cut that required stitches. However, the court did not confirm the June 21 incident until earlier this month after The Washington Post reported on it. The Court said it was not related to Roberts' seizures in 1993 and 2007, and his doctors said it was due to dehydration.