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Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she's being treated for cancer recurrence

RBG battling cancer recurrence
RBG battling cancer recurrence 01:57

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday that she is being treated for a recurrence of cancer, but she said she will "remain a member of the Court." The announcement comes days after she was hospitalized to treat gallstones and an unrelated infection. 

According to Ginsburg's statement, she began a course of chemotherapy on May 19. A periodic scan in February followed by a biopsy revealed lesions on her liver. A treatment of immunotherapy was unsuccessful, but she said the chemotherapy course is "yielding positive results."

Ginsburg said her most recent scan on July 7 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.

She said she will continue biweekly treatment to keep cancer at bay, and she noted "throughout, I have kept up with opinion writing and all other Court work."

In January, Ginsburg said she was "cancer free."  She has been treated for cancer four times over a two-decade span. She had colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. 

In August 2018, she underwent a three-week course of radiation for a tumor on her pancreas. According to a statement from the court at the time, the tumor was treated "definitively" and there was no evidence of the disease anywhere else in her body.

In December of 2018, she underwent surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lung. In January 2019, she missed oral arguments for the first time in more than 25 years.

"Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required," a spokesperson for the Supreme Court said a few weeks later.

Ginsburg's health is closely watched in Washington, CBS News' Nancy Cordes reported. If she were to leave the court during the Trump administration, it would give President Trump the chance to nominate a third justice — and his first opportunity to replace a liberal justice. 

Danielle Garrand contributed to this report. 

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