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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Statement, Reveals She’s Been Undergoing Chemotherapy for Months


Days after we learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized to treat a possible infection, Ginsburg has revealed in a statement that she started receiving chemotherapy in May to treat a recurrence of cancer.

Ginsburg, 87, is a four-time cancer survivor. Months ago, a biopsy revealed lesions on the justice’s liver; chemotherapy followed and continues. Ginsburg said her hospitalization this week was “unrelated” to the recurrence of cancer:

On May 19, I began a course of chemotherapy (gemcitabine) to treat a recurrence of cancer. A periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on my liver. My recent hospitalizations to remove gall stones and treat an infection were unrelated to this recurrence.

Immunotherapy first essayed proved unsuccessful. The chemotherapy course, however, is yielding positive results. Satisfied that my treatment curse is now clear. I am providing this information.

My most recent scan on July 7 indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease. I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment. 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.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s Public Information Office announced that Ginsburg had been admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland for “treatment of a possible infection.”

“She was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. last night after experiencing fever and chills,” Kathleen Arberg said.

Ginsburg “underwent an endoscopic procedure” on Tuesday afternoon to “clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” per Arberg.

“The Justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment,” the statement from Arberg concluded.

Ginsburg was released from the hospital on Wednesday. She was said to be “home and doing well.”

As recently as January, Ginsburg announced she was cancer-free.

[Image via Tom Brenner/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.