Ginsburg is a four-time cancer survivor and underwent cancer treatment twice in 2019

By Sean Neumann
January 08, 2020 06:43 PM

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told CNN in an interview this week that she’s “cancer free.”

The 86-year-old judge shared the news during a Tuesday interview in her chambers in Washington D.C.

Ginsburg is a four-time cancer survivor and underwent cancer treatment twice in 2019, including a three-week radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Center in New York City over the summer for pancreatic cancer.

She previously had surgery in December 2018 to have two malignant modules removed from her left lung.

Ginsburg became the first non-philosopher to win the 2019 Berggruen Prize in December — an annual award given to “thinkers whose ideas have profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world,” according to the Berggruen Institute.

She donated the $1 million prize to a list of charities that support girls and women, societal causes and the arts.

“She’s lovely,” Katie Couric told PEOPLE before the event. “She has a quiet intelligence and grace, and a razor-sharp wit.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks onstage at the 2019 Berggruen Prize Gala in New York City.
| Credit: Eugene Gologursky/Getty

Couric added that Ginsburg is “everything you would expect her to be.”

In addition to pancreatic cancer, Ginsburg previously survived colon cancer and also recovered from three broken ribs after a 2018 fall, which led to the discovery of the modules on her lung for which she received treatment in late 2018.

At the Berggruen gala last month, Ginsburg addressed her health while speaking about the camaraderie between the Supreme Court justices, despite their opinions on the law.

“As different as we are, the court is the collegial place I’ve ever worked,” she said. “And I can tell you that from a personal experience surviving four cancer bouts with my colleagues around me and made it possible for me not to miss a single case.”