(KSL) Advances in cancer treatment have led to life-saving options in even the worst cases. For a Utah man, a critical organ ravaged by cancer was totally re-engineered to save him.
Tom Ramsey loves life, the outdoors, and adventure, but Ramsey took a journey he'd never imagined.
"My lower back started to hurt," says co-director of the Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Group at the Huntsman Cancer Institute Rmsey, who lives in Salt Lake City.
It began a year and a half ago. A scan led to a devastating diagnosis.
"Almost 90 percent of his bladder was full of bladder cancer," says Dr. Chris Dechet, co-director of the Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Group at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Bladder cancer is one of the top six types of cancer. According to Dechet, 82,000 people are diagnosed with it in the United States every year, and 18,000 people die from it annually. He said that 50 percent of the time it's caused by smoking.
Ramsey was not a smoker, but he was exposed to second-hand smoke growing up. Genetics and the environment also play a factor in bladder cancer.