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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after lung surgery

The 85-year-old justice said in August that she would like to remain on the Supreme Court for another five years.
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from the hospital Wednesday after undergoing surgery to have cancerous growths removed from her lung, according to the Supreme Court press office.

Ginsburg, 85, underwent a pulmonary lobectomy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City on Friday, the court said. Two nodules had been found on her left lung during tests after she had a fall in November that fractured three of her ribs.

Both "nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation," the court added, but there "was no evidence of any remaining disease."

"Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned," the court said.

On its website, Sloan Kettering describes a lobectomy as "the best treatment for an isolated lung cancer in an otherwise healthy patient."

Ginsburg, the court's oldest and longest-serving justice, was nominated in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton. She has survived both colon and pancreatic cancer and had a heart stent procedure in 2014. Still, Ginsburg has never missed Supreme Court arguments in her more than 25 years on the bench, according to The Associated Press.

Ginsburg said in August that she would like to remain a justice for another five years.

The tumors were probably a recurrence of the pancreatic cancer, but one that is slow-growing and therefore not a medical emergency, Dr. Raja Flores, chair of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, said Friday.

"As long as she recovers from surgery well, she should be fine. I don't think people should worry," Flores said. The biggest risks, he said, will be pneumonia and blood clots.

The liberal judge has become something of a pop culture icon in recent years. The documentary "RBG" premiered earlier this year, and she is the subject of a feature film called "On the Basis of Sex," which opened Christmas Day.