Ruth Bader Ginsburg undergoing chemotherapy for liver cancer

Ruth Bader Ginsburg undergoing chemotherapy for liver cancer

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg is undergoing chemotherapy to treat a recurrence of liver cancer.

The treatment, which began in May, is yielding “positive results”.

In a statement, the 87-year-old Supreme Court justice said: “I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam. I remain fully able to do that.”

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Justice Ginsburg began a course of chemotherapy treatment on 19 May, after a scan in February, followed by a biopsy, revealed lesions on her liver.

She says that her recent admission to hospital to remove gallstones and treat an infection were unrelated to this recurrence.

An initial course of immunotherapy proved unsuccessful, but with the positive results from chemotherapy, and satisfied that the course of treatment is now clear, the justice decided to make public the return of her cancer.

“My most recent scan on 7 July indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease. I am tolerating chemotherapy well and am encouraged by the success of my current treatment,” she said.

“I will continue bi-weekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay, and am able to maintain an active daily routine. Throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other court work.”

On Tuesday Justice Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, with a possible infection stemming from a benign gallbladder condition.

Her spokesperson, Kathy Arberg, said in a statement then: “She was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC last night after experiencing fever and chills. She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August.”

The justice received intravenous antibiotic treatment before being released from hospital on Wednesday.

Nominated to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1993, Justice Ginsberg was only the second woman ever to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice after Sandra Day O’Connor.

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She is now one of the current court’s four more liberal justices.

Liberals – already in the minority on the bench – are worried that were she to die or retire before Donald Trump leaves office, she might be replaced by a conservative justice and leave in doubt key court decisions such as Roe v Wade, the case that legalised abortion.

Conservative chief justice John Roberts currently often acts as a deciding vote on cases before the court, handing liberals unexpected victories this year in both anti-discrimination and immigration cases.

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