Supreme Court Reveals RBG Was Treated for Cancer — as Source Says She Was 'in Really Good Spirits' on Broadway the Night Before

At a showing of Moulin Rouge! on Broadway on Thursday, hours before anyone knew she had been ill, Ginsburg seemed in high spirits, according to a source there

Photo: WLIW21

Thursday night, the audience was abuzz at the Broadway show Moulin Rouge! The Musical when theatergoers realized Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was — literally — in the house.

A throng of young women came up to the 86-year-old, who leads the court’s liberal wing, according to a source at the scene. They thanked her for all she has done for women’s rights and “she seemed in really good spirits,” the source tells PEOPLE.

On Friday, less than 24 hours later, the court announced that Ginsburg had secretly finished a three-week course of radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Center in New York City for a localized malignant tumor on her pancreas — the second time within a year Ginsburg has had cancer and the second time she has had pancreatic cancer. She underwent surgery to have two malignant modules removed from her left lung in December.

Ginsburg’s treatment for the tumor on her pancreas began on Aug 5, days after it was discovered, according to the court’s announcement on Friday. The treatment, done as an outpatient, included the placement of a bile duct stent.

“The Justice tolerated treatment well,” court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement. “She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule. The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Alex Wong/Getty

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Ginsburg has also survived colon cancer, and she recovered from three broken ribs after a fall in 2018, which led to the discovery of the modules on her lung.

She has said she hopes to have several more years on the Supreme Court and has no plans to retire.

At Moulin Rouge! on Thursday, hours before anyone knew she had been ill, Ginsburg seemed in high spirits, according to the source there.

She stayed for the entire show, “which is something even other celebrities don’t often do,” the source tells PEOPLE. “But she was up and about and looked like she was really enjoying the show.”

The source also saw her “walk up a full flight of stairs with assistance” — a sign of strength. “I even need help with that sometimes!” the source says.

Ginsburg has remained out and about during treatment. (The Supreme Court won’t be back in session until October.) In addition to trips to Broadway, where she also saw Fiddler on the Roof and received an ovation, Ginsburg was spotted at a screening of The Farewell.

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