Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday announced that her cancer has returned, and that she is being treated with chemotherapy but is not cancer-free.
Here is her statement:
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 course 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.
Ginsburg was treated for colon cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009, In December 2018, she was operated on for lung cancer, and she had radiation for a tumor in her pancreas in 2019.
This is all a little confusing, but as far as I can tell she is being treated for a return of pancreatic cancer, not some new liver cancer. I could be wrong. But Gemcitabine is used for metastatic pancreatic cancer.
It suggests to me that there is at least a greater possibility than we had thought that she will die before President Trump finishes his term. I think one can at least say that without being a medical expert, and without being irresponsible. Her lesions have been reduced, not eliminated.
Given her medical history, it’s always possible she is immortal.
Of course, if she does die, the fire already under an intensely hot election will roar to a blaze.