Tags: ginsburg | cancer | update

No Spread of Cancer for Justice Ginsburg

Friday, 13 Feb 2009 01:45 PM

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's pancreatic cancer had not spread and she was released from the hospital.

"All lymph nodes proved negative for cancer and no metastasis was found," court spokesman Kathy Arberg said in a statement.

The liberal Ginsburg, 75, the lone woman on the nine-member court, had surgery for pancreatic cancer on February 5. She was released on Friday and was recuperating at home.

Arberg said the half-inch lesion, revealed by a scan in late January, proved to be benign or noncancerous.

But in searching the entire pancreas, Ginsburg's surgeon, Dr. Murray Brennan, identified a previously undetected single and even smaller tumor that was found to be malignant or cancerous, she said.

Arberg said Ginsburg's cancer was determined to be stage 1, one of the least advanced stages on the zero to 4 scale, by doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

During the surgery, Brennan removed Ginsburg's spleen along with a portion of her pancreas, she said.

Ginsburg, appointed to the court in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, had colon cancer in 1999.

Her pancreatic cancer surgery had raised questions about how much longer Ginsburg will stay in her job and when President Barack Obama might get his first chance to make an appointment to the high court.

The court is scheduled to return to the bench to hear oral arguments on February 23 for its next public session. Arberg has said that Ginsburg planned to be back then.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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