Medical Experts Give Grim Prognosis for Justice Ginsburg

politics
January 03, 2019Jan 03, 2019

In an op-ed for The Daily Caller, Denver-based doctor Brian C. Joondeph, MD had some sobering news for liberals. He believes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's ongoing health issues are more serious than her representative has led people to believe.

At the end of December, Ginsburg had surgery to remove a lobe of her lung. They removed the lung because they found two suspicious nodules in it when they examined her after her fall a few weeks earlier,

A week ago, she told some of her admirers, “My health is fine.” That was belied by her surgery, which was relatively serious.

Dr. Joondeph raises the question of whether the malignant nodules were part of a primary lung cancer or metastases from a previous cancer. Ginsburg had colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic caner in 2009. These are both cancers that commonly metastasize to the lungs as the body's entire blood supply circulates through the lungs.

"If these nodules were not metastatic, then she would have primary lung cancer. While possible, having three different types of cancer is unusual. Ginsburg was not a smoker, which makes lung cancer less likely. Occam’s Razor suggests metastatic cancer," wrote the doctor.

However, he added, "Her lung nodules will be examined microscopically to determine the type of and origin of the malignancy. Until that news is announced, we can only speculate."

If her cancer is metastatic, then it is considered to be stage IV. This gives a sad prognosis.

"For stage IV colon cancer, the five-year survival is 15 percent. For pancreatic cancer, the five-year survival for stage IV disease is much worse at only 3 percent," noted Joondeph.

However, the doctor makes it clear that he's not relating this information because he wishes RBG ill. He just wants the public to be aware of her risks.

"As an 85-year-old, she has had her share of health issues and I wish her and her family well in her recovery. She exercises regularly and her dedication to fitness is commendable and contributory to her ability to bounce back after a succession of major medical issues." However, she notes, "She first has to recover from her thoracic surgery and partial lung removal. That alone is no small feat in someone her age. She is at risk for bleeding, infection, respiratory issues, all on top of three broken ribs."

If the type of cancer is found to have spread, then she will require chemotherapy, radiation, or both. If these are required, her ability to serve on the Supreme Court comes into question.

He concluded, "In the meantime, let’s wish Justice Ginsburg a speedy recovery but be sure to get a good seat for the circus when she eventually retires."