Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

5 Feb

Associated Press’  Lauran Neergaard reports today that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer.  She had surgery at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In 1999, Ginsburg had surgery for colon cancer and had chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The new cancer was discovered during a routine, annual exam late last month at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

A CAT scan revealed a tumor measuring about 1 centimeter across at the center of the pancreas, the court said.

Ginsburg had recently told her former law clerks and others that she envisioned serving on the court into her 80s, although those comments were made before the latest diagnosis.

In her previous bout with cancer, Ginsburg received treatment throughout the court’s term and never missed a day on the bench.

The justices hold their next private conference on Feb. 20 and return to the bench from their winter break on Feb. 23.

The court’s announcement offered few details about the surgery.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States. It is a silent killer, as its symptoms are so insidious that most people are not diagnosed until the disease has advanced beyond the stage where surgical resection is possible. Even among surgical candidates, removal of the diseased pancreas and surrounding tissues is rarely curative.

For more on the latest cancer research, visit Science Cafe.

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