Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday she is undergoing chemotherapy to treat a recurrence of cancer.
The treatment is yielding “positive results,” the 87-year-old liberal justice said in a statement, adding that she remains “fully able” to continue in her post.
Owing to her age and long medical history, Ginsburg’s health is the subject of widespread interest given her status as a liberal icon. The prospect that President Donald Trump could name a third justice to the Supreme Court would also be a major election issue.
Earlier this week, Ginsburg was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after having a fever and chills, and undergoing an “endoscopic procedure to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” the court said at the time.
Ginsburg said her cancer treatment is unrelated to this week’s incident.
Ginsburg was also in the hospital in early May. At that time, she participated in oral arguments from her hospital bed, asking questions in a case concerning Obamacare’s so-called contraceptive mandate.
Friday’s statement indicates that the pancreatic cancer Ginsburg was treated for in 2009 has returned again, this time in her liver, and that she tried one of the new immunotherapies for cancer, but it failed to shrink the tumors. It is not liver cancer.
Gemcitabine is a standard chemotherapy treatment that is a mainstay for pancreatic cancer that has spread.
Ginsburg has had several bouts with cancer. She had radiation therapy for the pancreatic cancer in 2019 and had some tumors taken out of a lung in 2018. She had colon cancer in 1999.