Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Lung Surgery, Has Cancerous Nodules Removed

Alex WongGetty Images

On Friday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery on her left lung to remove two cancerous nodules at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. According to a statement made by the Supreme Court, the surgery was completely successful, and both nodules were removed from the lower lobe of the lung without incident.

The statement, obtained by CNN, also said that “there is no evidence of any remaining disease, nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.”

The cancer was unexpectedly found in November after Ginsburg suffered a fall in her office that fractured three of her ribs. After the fall, the 85-year-old was hospitalized at the George Washington University Hospital, and during tests, it was discovered that the two malignant nodules were growing on her lung.

According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, who treated Ginsburg for the nodules, both of them removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation afterward.

Doctors are confident that the entirety of the nodules was removed during surgery, and scans prior to the operation showed no signs that the cancerous masses had metastasized to other parts of her body yet.

Ginsburg is set to remain in the hospital for a few days as she recovers from the surgery, but barring any unexpected complications, doctors are confident that she will make a full recovery. The Supreme Court Justice is also not set to undergo any further treatment relating to her cancer.

This is not her first brush with cancer either. In 1999, Ginsburg underwent surgery after it was discovered that she had colorectal cancer. A decade later, she was back in the oncologist’s office after being diagnosed with the early stages of pancreatic cancer, something that, when discovered late, is usually a death sentence for the patient.

Despite her fall last month, Ginsburg was back at work in record time, and just this week made a statement about her future career intentions with regards to her seat in the Supreme Court.

“I said I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam.”

To do so, she is making sure she remains healthy and is already back to her full exercise routine just over a month after fracturing her ribs, per a previous report by the Inquisitr. Even straight after the fall, Ginsburg insisted on keeping up a “light” version of her workout to stay healthy.