Cancer Treatment Cost in India
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Cancer Treatment Cost in India

India is one of the most advanced yet cost-effective places for cancer treatment in the world. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for the death of one person in six. A diagnosis of the disease causes a lot of worry in the hearts of most individuals, and this is because of the heavy toll it takes on the patients. The worry also stems from the financial aspect of the treatment because the intensive treatment is not cheap. The chances of survival and recovery are very high recently, especially when the cancer is detected early enough. However, despite modern advancements, it is still not easy to deal with the disease. 

What is Cancer?

Cancer occurs when some cells start dividing at a much higher speed than normal, with no control and also having more longevity than normal cells. These abnormal cells then form a mass which can be called a tumor. The consulting doctor will carefully examine a patient and conduct a series of tests to ascertain the type of cancer and the stage that the cancer is. The higher the number assigned to the stage, the more cancer has spread, and the more severe the case is. The stages are assigned from I-IV, with I being localized cancer that was caught very early before it spread, to IV which is when cancer has had a massive spread. Stage IV is also known as advanced cancer or metastatic cancer.

What are the factors affecting the cost of cancer treatment in India?

Cancer treatment in India can be stupendously expensive, especially if the individual does not have any insurance beforehand. The factors which can influence the cost of the treatment of cancer may fall under pretreatment costs, treatment costs, and post-treatment costs.

Pre-treatment expenses

These costs usually come up when an individual realizes that there are some changes in their body, what follows would probably be a doctor’s consultation to pin the problem down. The cost of diagnosis may cost a lot of money even before the start of the treatment. Some of the procedures that may induce these costs to include:

  • Doctor consultation – Consultation is usually the first step in the diagnosis of cancer. The consultation may cost may vary depending on the region, the sophistication of the hospital, and the experience of the doctor. An estimate of the consultation costs will be between 900 to about 5000 Indian Rupees (INR).
  • Laboratory testing – to confirm the diagnosis, a lot of tests will need to be carried out. Tests such as blood tests, urine tests, CT scans, PET scans, EEG, pulmonary function tests, MRI tests, etc., the tests cost a lot. Also, it may be necessary to carry out multiple tests to confirm the type of cancer that the individual has, the stage, the organs affected and the best way to approach the treatment.
  • Biopsy – a biopsy is a procedure where a piece of tissue is removed from the suspected cancer and taken to the lab for confirmation. A biopsy would range from 20000 to about 45000 INR.
  • Endoscopy – this procedure may be necessary to confirm some types of cancer like colon cancer. The cost of this procedure may range from 10000 to 70000 INR.

Cancer treatment 

The treatment of cancer includes the use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, palliative care, and even surgery. The treatment is designed to cure control or reduce the symptoms of all types of cancers. Cancer treatment when successfully done controls the spread of cancer. It aims at controlling the spread of cancer by damaging the out-of-control malignant cells and preventing them from continued proliferation. The treatment of cancer can be local in which case, surgery and aimed radiation therapy can be used to treat it. Cancer treatment can also be a systemic treatment where it is designed for the entire body, and drug-based therapies like immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or targeted drug therapy are used for cancer treatment. The treatment of cancer can be given in various methods, which include:

  • Primary treatment – this is the main treatment that is directly aimed at killing or destroying as many of the cancer cells as possible.
  • Adjuvant treatment – this type of therapy is used to mop up any cancer cells that were Left behind after the primary treatment.
  • Palliative care – this type of treatment provides alleviation of symptoms. The symptoms may be caused by the disease itself, the side effects of the treatment, or both.
cancer treatment in India
Picture courtesy: ClinicSpots

The actual treatment course of cancer may be determined by several factors. Some of these factors are the size of the cancer, the location of the cancer, the tissue surrounding the cancer, the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed, the individual’s general health, and if the treatment is being conducted concurrently with another disease treatment. A combination of different therapies is used for patients whose cases are severe or whose cancer diagnosis was done after the cancer had significantly spread all over their bodies. The treatment is aimed at stopping the further spread and eliminating as much cancer as possible. 

Therefore, cancer treatment cost in Nigeria is also dependent on the stage of detection and diagnosis of cancer. The type of cancer also affects the total cost of therapy. The cost of surgery for cancer may be between 3200-8000 dollars. The cost of chemotherapy may get to about 650-1500 dollars per cycle of chemotherapy. Radiotherapy usually varies from 3500-5000 dollars. The patient may be hospitalized for about 5-8 days while being administered intermittent doses of radiation. Cancer treatments can last up to 6 months before being resolved.

Post cancer treatment 

Once the treatment begins, some costs come that are not related to the treatment. These expenses would fall under post-treatment costs; these procedures are used to monitor the progress of the treatment. The most common of these costs include:

  • Cost of renting a room in the hospital in the case of hospitalization throughout the duration of the treatment.
  • Home service costs in the instance that the patient requires any medical monitoring equipment in their house.
  • Emergency management in the case of any complications during and after the treatment.
  • Costs of regular check-ups with the doctor.

Different types of cancer treatments

In India, all types of cancers are handled with reasonable success. Below is a list of commonly handled cancers in India:

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