An interview with Dr. Bastidas on KNTV NBC Bay Area News at 5 regarding the impact of cancer on the hispanic community.

World Traveling Executive Choses El Camino Hospital for Helpful Cancer Treatment

What if you were told that a tumor was growing in your bile duct and liver, and the chance of surviving five years or more was only 7 percent? Would you give up hope? Tom didn’t, and today, more than four years after his diagnosis, he is back to work, running global operations for a public company. Here’s his story.

In August 2007, Tom was working in Japan when he felt such fatigue he began to think his heart wasn’t working properly (heart disease runs in Tom’s family). He returned to the U.S. and later received a shocking diagnosis: Tom had bile duct cancer.


Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) occurs when a tumor grows in the bile duct. A rare cancer, it affects only about 4,000 Americans each year. Tom’s tumor was a Klatskin tumor, which means it was in the upper part of the bile duct. Successful treatment of a tumor such as Tom’s requires an extremely complex operation involving many internal organs.


“When they first looked at my tumor, the surgeons weren’t sure if they would be able to operate,” recalls Tom, who was treated by general surgeon Augusto Bastidas, M.D. and cancer surgeon Shymali Singhal, M.D.


At the time Tom was just 58 years old, father of three, and a grandfather, too. “I wasn’t sure what to tell my family at that point.”


On New Year’s Eve of 2007, Tom went into surgery. “Dr. Bastidas and Dr. Singhal removed my tumor, plus half of my liver and my entire gallbladder. They also reconstructed my bile duct,” says Tom. Although the surgery was a success, the nurses kept a close eye on him for 10 days while he recovered. “My liver was in such poor condition--they weren’t sure if I would make it.”


Fortunately, Tom recovered, and went on to have radiation and chemotherapy treatment during the first nine months of 2008. By 2010, Tom was feeling so good he went back to work full-time in a job that continues to take him all around the world. (Tom also resides on two coasts, with homes in Campbell, Calif., and Boston, Mass.).


Although Boston has plenty of world-class physicians, the majority of Tom’s care in the past four years has been handled by the doctors at the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center. “And what I appreciate most is that all my doctors know each other,” says Tom, who credits Dr. Bastidas and Dr. Singhal for their seamless coordination of care with his other physicians (medical oncologist Shane Dormady and radiation oncologist Robert Sinha). All four doctors are part of the El Camino Hospital medical staff and communicate regularly with one another.

When he looks back on his experience, Tom concludes: “Cancer sucks--but I can’t imagine any better treatment than the treatment I received at El Camino Hospital.”


Tom says he is happy to share his story with other cancer patients and hopes his experience will help encourage them to keep up their fight against cancer, no matter what the odds.


"World Traveling Executive Choses El Camino Hospital for Helful Cancer Treatment" El Camino Hospital, 25 July 2013. Web. 




"Dear Augusto,

On New Years Eve 2007 you removed my Klostkin Tumor. Please recognize how much I appreicate you and your tremendous service to me.


This New Years Eve and every other I encounter, I will always take a moment to appreciate you and pray for your well being. You are a real blessing as part of my life journey!


Today I am very grateful to be alive and to acknowledge the goodness that surrounds me. You are a key part of that "goodness"


I am excited about passing the 2 year milestone and know that I cannot take my health for granted.


Wishing you an especially fun New Years Eve this year! "


Before I arrived at El Camino Hospital, I knew of your reputation for quality and service. The delight I have now and what I learned since my arrival is how the people of El Camino Hospital really make a difference and are the ones who have earned this reputation. My rounds at both the Los Gatos and Mountain View campuses have been such a warm introduction to the people who make up this organization. 


My impressions are that there is a lot that is going very well here. The fact that you are placed in the top five percent of the nation in Service is remarkable. It's a position we should not take for granted, nor get too comfortable with, because there are thousands of hospitals who covet this ranking and have aggressive plans to advance their position. 


Two examples of service I witnessed in my first week: My interactions with the team in the Emergency Department in Mountain View in working with Michael, Derek, Will and othersl they personify professionalism, expert skill, and service. While doing rounds with Dr. Eric Pifer, we were able to meet with a patient who was brought to tears because her physician, Dr. Augusto Bastidas, had made a visit to her home. This was humbling.


With respect to clinical quality, I was very impressed with the Quality Committee meeting I attended my second day here. The hear the quality programs discussed by Dr. Cook of the Emergency Department, Dr. Hopi of Imaging, Dr. Dan Shin speaking to the need to reduce C-Diff, and Dr. Ting speaking on the Dialysis program all made a lasting impression. It was reaffirming to see the medical leadership so engaged and committed to improving patient outcomes and leading the way.


- Continue a strategic planning process

- Finalize our corporate goals

- Place emphasis on and support our quality priorities

- Ensure Meaningful Use is on trak to be completed

- Make certain the IT Strategy is embedded in an organizational strategic plan

- Define the scope of a more formal Performance Improvement process


As important, I will continue building relationships with physicians, staff, and our colleagues in the market, as well as the broader community. With the advet of health reform, the importance of these relationships will become apparent in whether the overall health of our communities truly improve in time.


Thanks again for the warm welcome. I look forward to working with you to build an even brighter future for El Camino Hospital.


At your service,


Tomi Ryba

President and CEO

February 10, 2012


Dr. J Augusto Bastidas

14981 National Ave, Suite 4

Los Gatos CA 95032


Dear Dr. Bastidas,


I would like to thank you so very much for taking such wonderful care of me. If it was not for your skills and expertise as an amazing doctor the mass in my stomach would not have been found. You are the only doctor in the past two years that was the real problem and the cause of my pain. I cannot tahnk you enough; my family is so very thankful to you as well.




National Surgical Associates


14981 National Ave. Ste 4

Los Gatos, CA 95031


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