Thursday, February 5, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized For Pancreatic Cancer

NPR reports:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman currently serving on the nation’s highest court, underwent surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City on Thursday for removal of a cancerous tumor from her pancreas.

"White House sources say that the president's top legal aides have already begun compiling lists of potential replacements in the event that any of the justices retire this year. And even before the news broke about Ginsburg, speculation focused heavily on potential female candidates. "

Related NPR Story
According to the court’s statement:
According to Dr. Murray Brennan, the attending surgeon, Justice Ginsburg will likely remain in the hospital approximately 7-10 days.

Justice Ginsburg had no symptoms prior to the incidental discovery of the lesion during a routine annual check-up in late January at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. A Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan revealed a small tumor, approximately 1 cm across, in the center of the pancreas.
Ginsburg, who will turn 76 yrs of age in March, has served on the court since 1993. She was treated for colon cancer 10 years ago.

It's good that Justice Ginsburg’s pancreatic cancer was discovered early, in the course of a routine annual screening, and we wish Justice Ginsburg a speedy recovery and good health, but medical literature says even in this circumstance, a patient’s five-year survival chances range from 10 to 30 percent. Barack Obama will perhaps turn out to be the "just in time President" on this front too.

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