Doug Mills / The New York Times

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54 recently underwent treatment for a tumor.

August 23, 2019

Supreme Court Reveals Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ‘54 Underwent Treatment for Pancreatic Tumor

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 underwent three weeks of radiation therapy to treat a tumor on her pancreas in early August, the court shared in a statement on Friday. The malignant pancreatic tumor was detected through a routine blood test in early July.

Ginsburg was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after the tumor’s presence was confirmed on July 31. No further treatment is necessary, and that no other diseases were found, according to the statement.

Previously, in 1999 Ginsburg was diagnosed with colon cancer. In Feb. 2009, Justice Ginsburg was treated for pancreatic cancer. In Dec. 2018, she was treated for two nodules on her left lung. In a statement, Dr. Valerie W. Rusch, Ginsburg’s doctor for her 2018 treatment, stated that  “there was no evidence of any remaining disease,” the New York Times reported in 2018.

Ginsburg graduated from Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1954 with a B.A. in government. She then attended Harvard Law School before transferring to Columbia Law School. Ginsburg was nominated and served as a justice on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1980 to 1993 before being nominated to the United States Supreme Court in 1993, where she has since served as an associate justice.

As The Sun reported, Ginsburg has a legacy in pursuing the rights of women since her time at Cornell. In a 2004 conversation with previous Dean of Arts and Sciences Gretchen Ritter ’83, Ginsburg spoke to how Cornell fashioned her ambition in women’s rights and justice.

Ginsburg went on to work as a lawyer and for the ACLU, co-founding the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. From 1973 to 1976, she argued six cases before the Supreme Court as an ACLU lawyer, “profoundly changing the law as it affects women” the Times wrote in a 1993 article.