Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who underwent colon cancer surgery last September, said yesterday that she has been going through "precautionary" chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and that they have not interfered with her court work.
In a one-paragraph statement, Ginsburg said, "In consultation with Dr. Leonard Saltz of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center in New York, I have been undergoing a precautionary, postsurgery course of chemotherapy and radiation at Washington Hospital Center."
A 1993 appointee of President Clinton, Ginsburg said she began the treatments in October and will finish in June. They "have not affected my schedule at the court," she said and referred to her Sept. 17 operation as "a complete, successful, surgical removal of a colorectal cancer." Physicians soon after said that the cancer had not spread beyond her colon.
Ginsburg, who was on the bench for the start of the term in October and has not missed a day since, said "Following the treatments, it is anticipated that I will require only routine examinations to assure my continuing good health."
Ginsburg, 66, issued the statement in response to inquiries about her health. The court's second female justice has been nationally known since the 1970s when, as a women's rights advocate, she successfully convinced the high court to provide more protection for women facing discrimination.
At recent public appearances, Ginsburg has commented on her illness and apparently good prognosis. Last Saturday at the Association of American Law Schools, she remarked that when she agreed a year earlier to be a featured speaker, "I had no idea how glad I would be just to be here today, well on my way back to good health."