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Justice Ginsburg has Pancreatic Cancer

Posted by Data Locker - A Pot of Information on February 6, 2009

datalockerThe Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery for an “early stage” pancreatic cancer. The 75-year-old, who had surgery for colon cancer in 1999, will remain in the hospital for seven to 10 days following her surgery.

The doctors who examined and conducted surgery on her said that the tumor measures about 1 centimeter and was discovered during an annual exam last month at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Study shows the pancreatic cancer is especially dealy and is known as a silent killer. Most cases are asymptomatic. And the later the cancer is caught, the lower the chances of survival, Dr. Avram Cooperman, surgical director for the Pancreas and Biliary Center at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, told last summer after Patrick Swayze’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.

Statistically, the illness affects about 30,000 people a year, and has only 5 percent survival rate for five years. Caught early enough and treated with surgery and chemotherapy, the five-year survival rate goes up to 17 to 25 percent, Cooperman said.

According to further study, people whose ages ranging from 50 to 70 are most at risk for developing the disease. Cooperman said smokers, heavy drinkers of alcohol and, in some cases, people with a genetic predisposition are most at risk for pancreatic cancer. Some sufferers of chronic pancreatitis may also be at risk.


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