It’s the place where patients in the fight of their life find hope, where specialized care meets the quest for a cure. The vision of providing cancer patients state-of-the-art care in our backyard has forever changed how we battle the disease.
For more than 30-years the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center has been providing hope to patients, not only here in Kern County, but all over the world—cancer care as we know it, forever changed, because of what’s happening at CBCC.
Step inside comprehensive blood and cancer center and into Dr. Ravi Patel’s mission to save lives.
It was more than 30-years ago, Patel and his wife, who are both doctors; were practicing medicine in Chicago—deciding they wanted to continue making a difference, but in a place with warmer weather.
“We actually thought because of the cold weather, we should move out to somewhere where the weather was good,” Patel said. “I specialized in cancer, she specialized in cardiology, its a very specialized field.”
That decision to uproot to Bakersfield, was the moment cancer treatment in our community forever changed—the Patel’s quickly learning they could make a difference, in a big way.
“When we came into town, it was very interesting to see a very limited access to cancer care,” Patel recalled.
For decades, patients here having to to travel to Los Angles or the bay area to fight for their survival.
So in 1984, and with just 4 staff members and a small 12-hundred square foot facility in central Bakersfield, Dr. Patel opened his treatment center—patients access to cancer care rapidly changing.
“We needed more technology and more space, more physicians, more staff and most important,” Patel said, “We slowly saw the trend to move out of town for cancer care was changing.”
He was behind that change.
In 1996, Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center breaking ground on their current location off Truxtun extension, adding space and life saving technology—along with the areas first partnership with the prestigious UCLA Community Research Network.
In 2008 Dr. Patel securing funding for a revolutionary tool in cancer care opening the cyber knife center.
CBCC home to the first and only robotic surgical system, delivering unprecedented accuracy and precision for patients undergoing radiation treatment. “The results of treatment for small tumors in the lung, is just as good as surgery, without having to do surgery.”
Doctors and specialists at CBCC able to pinpoint a tumor and by using this small laser, able remove the cancer without affecting healthy areas around it. Most patients are in and out within 45-minutes according to experts at CBCC.
With the system here in Kern patients are able to focus on their recovery, rather than hours of travel out of town.
“It’s a quick procedure they can walk in and walk out, it would be a four hour trip to Los angels to go there and come back.”
Bakersfield one of only a handful of cities using this technology, and now CBCC considered the largest free standing cancer center on the west coast.
Dr. Patal and his staff priding themselves on providing a wholistic approach to cancer care, where every detail, and procedure is offered to patients in one place.
CBCC’s blood lab able to monitor a patients blood count in just minutes, saving precious time in the treatment process—and their imaging center able to produce an MRI for a patients doctor to study and share with specialists at CBCC. ”It requires a team to really take care of cancer patients,” Patel says.
That team of more than 350 staff, specialists and doctors dedicated to the mission of beating cancer.
In 2014, announcing a partnership with Dignity Health to once again over more options and experts in outsmarting cancer.
“We love the people here, our staff loves the people here, the most exciting thing is that we can really practice world class medicine right here in the community in Bakersfield.”
In fact, since the 1990’s, CBCC has participated in some of the most influential, and consequential cancer treatment trials in the world—life saving medicine, and state-of-the-art procedures, given the green light with the help of local patients. ”A very powerful drug for breast cancer was developed here and many of these patients participated in trials for that, and now that drug is helping people all over the world,” Patel said.
Not only are those clinical trials helping patents around the world—more than a decade ago, Dr. Patel made a pledge to do the same in his home country of India—establishing six identical CBCC treatment centers in underserved parts of the country.
State-of-the-art cancer care, now saving thousands of lives each year oversees thanks to Dr. Patal.
Outsmarting cancer, and caring for patients in Kern County and beyond—Dr. Patel, CBCC with it’s spirit of human kindness, compassion, and the search to heal as many lives as possible—that was made right here, in Kern County.