Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Cancer Treatment Timeline

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, the latest in a long line of treatments the 87-year-old has had for different forms of the disease.

She said in statement on Friday that she had started chemotherapy "to treat a recurrence of cancer." In February, she had a scan followed by a biopsy which showed she had lesions on her liver. Doctors initially treated her with immunotherapy, where a person's immune system is harnessed in an attempt to fight the disease, but this was unsuccessful.

But chemotherapy "is yielding positive results" and she was tolerating it well. Ginsburg said she was releasing the statement as she was satisfied her course of treatments is now clear. A scan on July 7 showed the lesions had reduced significantly and there were no signs of new disease. Ginsburg will have chemotherapy biweekly to keep the disease at bay.

"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," she said.

Below is a timeline of Ginsburg's encounters with cancer over the past two decades.


Ginsburg was diagnosed with colon cancer as the 20th century neared its end. Following surgery to remove the cancer from her colon and surrounding tissue, she underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She was in her late sixties at the time. The justice, who is known for her work ethic, did not miss a day on the bench as she was treated.


An annual health check in January revealed that Ginsburg had a small tumor on her pancreas. It was approximately 1cm wide. In February, surgeons removed the growth.


Over a decade after her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Ginsburg discovered she had lung cancer in November 2018. Echoing the circumstance of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, she found out about her condition after having CT following a fall. In December, she had surgery to treat her lung cancer. This led her to missing an oral argument for the first time in over a quarter of a century.


Starting on August 5, Ginsburg had three weeks of radiation therapy to treat a tumour on her pancreas. At the time, there was no sign the cancer had spread elsewhere and she was not thought to need further treatment.


In January, the Justice told CNN: "I'm cancer free. That's good." Of course, the situation later changed.

RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in a discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center on February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Justice Ginsburg and U.S. Appeals Court Judge McKeown discussed the 19th Amendment which guaranteed women the right to vote which was passed 100 years ago. (Photo by ) Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images