It seems most news is missing a key part of the Supreme Court press release on the condition of Justice Ginsburg.
As part of her pancreatic cancer treatment a bile stent was placed.
From the press release today on Justice Ginsburg’s health.
This is important because a biliary stent is only installed if a tumor was large enough to cause blockage of the bile duct from the liver to the intestine.
It is typically performed in cases where the patient has cancer on the duct itself and often predicates liver cancer.
Again the stent is typically only used in advanced cases and often only surgery is done for early cases:
The are two types of stents often used, plastic and metal. Plastic ones only last about 3 months before needed to be replaced, thus doctors tend to use plastic ones in patients they do not expect to live more than 3 months (since they are more comfortable and cheaper).
Lastly, given Ginsburg’s tendency to imbibe alcohol in the daytime, one may suspect she has some form of dependency. In this case the prognosis is complicated greatly.