Editor’s note: We’re so sorry Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, had part of her left lung removed Friday after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Ginsburg cured at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, according to a news release from the United States Supreme Court Press Office.
According to the announcement from the Supreme Court, Ginsburg’s cancer was limited to one part of her left lung. There is no evidence that the disease has spread elsewhere in her body. Diagnosis after an accident Ginsburg She was injured on November 7, when she fell into her office, breaking three of her ribs. According to reports, the cancer was discovered when she underwent imaging tests on her rib injury. The tests showed the presence of two lung nodules – tumors – in the left lower lobe. A pathology evaluation performed after removal of the nodule confirmed confirmed lung cancer.
Scans taken before surgery indicate that there is no evidence of disease anywhere else in the body. Because the cancer was confined to only one part of the lung and there was no evidence that it had spread, it is considered an early stage and would not require further treatment, according to a thoracic surgeon at Ginsburg, Valerie W. Roche, MD. The Supreme Court statement said Judge Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.
“Even at an advanced age, most patients who have this surgery recover completely,” she said. Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Chief, Department of Medical Oncology and Director of the Thoracic Oncology Research Program at Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center and Yale University School of Medicine. “There is usually only a slight effect on lung function if it is working well.”
Early diagnosis is the key to survival
Lung cancer is usually difficult to treat because it is often detected late after the cancer has spread. disease is The leading cause of cancer death in the United StatesAccording to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, five-year survival rates for stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer (the most common type of lung cancer) range from 68 to 92 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Lung Cancer Survival rates Significantly fall for disease at a later stage.
The disease is often associated with smoking but it can also be it causes By other factors, such as exposure to radiation, a family history of the disease, and contact with certain toxic substances, such as asbestos.
Information from the court suggests that Ginsburg may have a good prognosis, according to A Blog has been published Friday afternoon by J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer in the National Office of the American Cancer Society. However, there is a lot about her condition that remains unknown at this time, he said.
“We should always be vigilant in such situations and avoid statements that exaggerate the results of a disease that can act unpredictably,” Dr. Lichtenfeld wrote. “Factors such as the location of the tumor, the exact type and characteristics of the tumor, and the size of the tumor all go into evaluating the outcome. Simply put, we don’t have this information.”
This is the third time that Ginsburg has been battling cancer. She was treated for colorectal cancer in 1999 and for early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2009. Dr. Herbst said she might have been lucky when this bout of cancer was detected.
“A lot of times these things are found by chance,” he said. “I see this all the time – people who fall and have an accident and they have x-rays and there is a small nodule in the lung. This is probably found at a much earlier stage than it would have otherwise.”
Moreover, many advances in cancer treatment have been seen in recent years, especially lung cancer treatment.
“It has never been a more promising time in the treatment of cancer and lung cancer, with more treatments and more options,” Herbst said.
Related: 5 reasons to be optimistic about lung cancer