Dr. Ravi Shankar, MD of Cancer Care Centers of Brevard and President of BIMDA

Dr. Ravi Shankar, president and medical director of Cancer Care Centers of Brevard will lead BIMDA (Brevard Indo-American Medical and Dental Association), as its 2014 chairman and president. After graduating from medical school in Madras Medical College in India, Dr. Shankar went on to become a surgeon. This experience has made a tremendous difference in his work as a radiation oncologist.

“While BIMDA is comprised mainly of physicians of Indian origin, it’s open to all physicians, dentists, and allied health professionals in the region. We want to stress that point in the community as we grow.” — Dr. Ravi Shankar, of Cancer Care Centers of Brevard and President of BIMDA

After finishing a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, he continued on to residency in radiation oncology at Howard University Hospital Washington, D.C. Given his experience and interest in surgery, he then undertook a fellowship in brachytherapy at Beth Israel in New York. This experience brought him to Tampa where he was the assistant professor of radiation oncology genitourinary gynecology, oncology and sarcoma programs at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Shortly thereafter the founder of Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, Dr. Silas Charles, offered him a position as radiation oncologist in Melbourne. Since Dr. Charles’ retirement in 2009, he has served as the president and medical director, as well as medical advisor of the nonprofit, the Cancer Care Foundation, which assists local cancer patients with their basic living expenses while undergoing treatments.

“After moving to Brevard County from Tampa, the first organization that I joined was BIMDA,” Dr. Shankar said.  “I had heard about the good things they were doing, not just from a medical standpoint, but from the various local charities that they support. It seemed a good fit for my family and me.”

Dr. Shankar’s background as a surgeon allows him the unique ability to be able to perform surgical procedures which require postoperative brachytherapy (a form of radiation therapy) for many types of cancers including breast, cervical, lung, rectum, and prostate. He and the Cancer Care Centers of Brevard are continually striving to give patients a better chance at beating their disease.

“For some time we have offered at our centers genetic testing and genetic counseling,” Dr. Shankar explained. “It is my goal that patients be given the most comprehensive information when they are making a major decision in their treatment.  On many occasions patients opt for a radical treatment where a more ‘suited’ course, with the right information and guidance could have been obtained, yielding (according to statistics) the same outcome in a less radical fashion.”

The team at Cancer Care Centers is comprised of 12 board certified physicians, eight medical oncologists, and four radiation oncologists. The centers are now able to treat with both chemo and radiation “under one roof” at two of their locations, Merritt Island and Melbourne on Pine Street. Two years ago, The Cancer Care Centers were awarded Accreditation from the American College of Radiology both in radiation therapy and for diagnostic imaging in CT and PET/CT modalities. “We are the only ACR-accredited radiation therapy facility in Indian River County and the only independently-owned ACR-accredited radiation therapy practice in Brevard County.  And at the time of this writing, we received the  news of the  accreditation from the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative in Medical Oncology; truly, we are the only independent cancer center in Brevard County to be triple-certified by national standards,” Dr. Shankar said.

As the chairman and president of BIMDA, his goal for the group is to emphasize that members of all backgrounds are welcome.

For more information on the Cancer Care Centers of Brevard visit CancerCareBrevard.com or call (321) 952-0898. 

For more information on BIMDA visit BIMDA.com