Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes first public appearance since latest cancer treatments

Ginsburg spoke about her career in the law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, once again, wants the world to know she's still alive and undeterred in the face of cancer.

In her first appearance since word surfaced on Friday of her most recent bout with cancer, Ginsburg appeared on Monday at the University of Buffalo to accept an honorary degree and answer questions -- three days after the Supreme Court said she had successfully been treated for a localized, malignant tumor on her pancreas. The court has said there is no evidence of any remaining disease.

“It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would one day become the notorious RBG. I am now 86 years old, yet people of all ages want to take their picture with me. Amazing," Ginsburg deadpanned, drawing applause from the crowd.

The news of her latest health problem, coming during the court's summer recess, is the second cancer scare for Ginsburg in the last year. In December 2018, doctors removed part of her lung after discovering cancerous nodules. Recovery from the surgery caused Ginsburg to miss public court sessions for the first time in her 25 years on the bench.

On Monday, Ginsburg spoke about her career in the law, forging a path for women at the high court, and her advice for being an effective judge.

"In my growing up years, I can’t say that I had a role model of a woman in law, because women were barely there," Ginsburg said. "But I did have two inspirations – real and fictional. The first was Amelia Earhart … and a fictional character was Nancy Drew."

Asked about the characteristics of a sound judge, Ginsburg -- who's served on the Supreme Court for more than 25 years -- singled out three: "Patience. The other is a willingness to listen and to learn," she said. "Compassion is another quality."

"Law doesn’t exist somewhere in the sky. It exists to govern society. Law exists to serve that society," Ginsburg said. "So an appreciation of what law is about, to help keep society operating peacefully, I think is important to realize. It’s not some abstract exercise. It affects real people and judges should be cognizant of how law affects people that the law is there to serve."

ABC News' Kennedey Bell contributed to this report.