Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Two Cancerous Growths Removed

The 85-year-old underwent surgery on her left lung at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City

Image Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery on Friday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to remove two malignant growths in her left lung.

The procedure is known as a pulmonary lobectomy, a statement from the Supreme Court noted.

Her thoracic surgeon, Dr. Valerie W. Rusch, reported to the high court that the growths were malignant.

The two nodules in the lower lobe of the left lung were found while Ginsburg was being treated for rib fractures as a result of a fall last month.

During follow-up X-rays from that injury, doctors detected the nodules.

It’s a blessing in disguise that they were found — and were able to be removed during the early stages.

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The court reported on Friday that the justice was resting comfortably and that she will remain in the hospital for a few days, which is standard for this type of surgery.

“Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned,” said Kathleen L. Arberg, a Supreme Court spokesperson, in a statement.

It’s likely the growths are not related to her previous bouts of cancer, according to Dr. Giuseppe Giaccone, an oncologist at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

It’s still unknown whether or not Ginsburg will return to the bench when the court resumes on Jan. 7, 2019.

The justice has not missed a Supreme Court argument in over 25 years.

The 85-year-old associate justice has proven her resilience as she’s overcome more than just broken ribs over the years.

Ginsburg has fought and beat cancer twice.

She underwent surgery in 2014 to have a stent inserted to open an obstructed artery in her heart.

She also cracked two other ribs in 2012.

President Donald Trump tweeted a message of support for the justice on Friday night, as did many others.

Ginsburg’s health is closely monitored by the public — and by all politicians, of course.

If she were to step down, President Donald Trump would select her successor, which would continue to shift the court in a conservative direction.

The justice has already hired clerks for the term ending in 2020 — sending a message she has no plans to retire.

Ginsburg, born in New York City, is the court’s oldest member; she had said previously that she would not be retiring until she’s 90 years old.

Then-President Bill Clinton nominated her to the high court. She took the oath of office on August 10, 1993.

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Christine King is a medical exercise specialist, fitness expert, writer and founder of YourBestFit, a health and wellness company that has helped thousands of clients recover from injuries, look and feel better, and improve their overall well-being.  

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