‘Malignant Nodules’ Were Discovered on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Left Lung After She Broke Her Ribs

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, suffered a fall at court in early November that resulted in three rib fractures and her hospitalization. While she was under observation, doctors found that she had cancerous nodules on her left lung.

The Supreme Court’s Public Information Office announced Friday that Ginsburg “underwent a pulmonary lobectomy” on Friday in New York City.

“Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in  a fall on November 7,” the statement said. “According to the thoracic surgeon Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation.”

Doctors say that there was “no evidence” of disease after the surgery and that “currently, no further treatment is planned.”

Ginsburg remains hospitalized at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is “expected to remain [there] for a few days.” News broke on Nov. 8 that Ginsburg suffered a fall at Supreme Court, fracturing three of her ribs.

At the time, that appeared to be the only issue. The news release suggests that these malignant growths may not have been caught had Ginsburg not fallen, as the nodules were “discovered incidentally.”

The ribs Ginsburg fractured were on her left side and she was treated at George Washington University Hospital.

Ginsburg has said before that she has no plans of retiring anytime soon. When commenting on her former fellow Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens serving on the court until he was 90 years old, Ginsburg said, “[H]e stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have about at least five more years.”

[Image via CNN screengrab]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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