Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg undergoes lung cancer surgery

John Murphy, MDLinx | December 21, 2018

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, to remove two malignant nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung, according to a statement from the United States Supreme Court.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Two malignant nodules were removed from Justice Ginsburg’s lung. No remaining cancer was evident.

Initial pathology evaluation indicated that both nodules were malignant, according to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS.

After Justice Ginsburg fell and sustained rib fractures on November 7, physicians at George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC, discovered the nodules during routine tests.

No remaining cancer was evident after the nodules were removed. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body, so no further treatment is currently planned.

“Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days,” according to the Supreme Court statement. “Updates will be provided as they become available.”

The 85-year-old judge has beaten cancer twice before—she survived colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. During Ginsburg’s years in high school, her mother battled cancer but passed away the day before Ginsburg’s high school graduation.