Cancer Trreatment In India
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases in today’s world. With the change of lifestyle, it has become more common than it was a decade ago. Although, with increasing cases of cancer then the treatment is also getting better. More and more people are recovering from cancer and leading a healthy life.
Cancer can’t be defined in one single definition, there as many cancers as there are tissues in our body. Most common ones include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, brain tumours and blood cancer. The doctors who diagnose and treat cancer are called oncologists.
Oncologists can be divided into three major categories:
Medical Oncologists – They treat cancer mainly by medicines. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are part of medical Oncologists.
Surgical Oncologists – They remove cancerous tissues by surgeries and get samples of biopsy.
Radiation Oncologists – They perform radiation therapy to treat cancer.
These doctors are part of a cancer treatment team which may include the following:
Primary Care Physician – They are the first doctors we see before we see a specialist. They can be doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants.
Pathologists – Pathologists are basically involved in the diagnosis. They are either anatomical pathologists or clinical pathologists. Anatomical pathologist does visual diagnosis by looking at the samples such as microscopic analysis of tissues, organs and the whole body. Whereas clinical pathologists mainly test bodily fluids.
Radiologists – The physician who reads X-ray, CT scan, MET, PET scan images. They basically analyse images taken by camera or imaging technology.
Geneticists – They perform a study of cancerous genes.
Nurse – In an oncology department the nurses are specifically trained to take care of cancer patient.
Organ – specific oncologists: Oncology is such a vast subject that a single doctor may not be suitable to work through every aspect of it. Doctors are trained to handle cancer of a single type of organ such as breast, liver, lungs etc.
Diagnosis of cancer:
Blood Tests – There are certain substances in the body, either in flood or some other type of bodily fluid that could be indicative of cancer. For example, CBC(complete blood count) is a common but not the only blood test for cancer. The doctors may suggest various blood test before or after the proper diagnosis of cancer.
Imaging – Tumors are a common type of cancer are assessed by imaging technology. The imaging may involve a CT scan which takes a detailed picture of the cancerous organ usually performed after intake of a dye like substance. MRI and PEt scan also be performed according to what the doctor is looking for.
Biopsy – Biopsy is a sure way to diagnose cancer. It is an invasive procedure where a sample of the tissue taken either by a needle, by an endoscope, by surgery. The sample is then studied and microscope by trained pathologists to confirm cancer.
Mammogram – Mammogram is a preventive measure is used to detect breast cancer for women who have no sign of breast cancer.
How much the diagnosis costs?
Usually, Diagnosis of cancer is done in a series of steps. And even after your treatments are going on you might need to go through tests to see the level of recovery. The tests may vary in costs, sometimes a couple of tests are needed while other times more than five tests are suggested. Hospital often provides packages for cancer tests that cover all the tests included for cancer treatment. Such packages reduce the cost by a large margin while raising the chances of correct diagnosis.
The biopsy in itself may cost 7 $ to 45 $ depending on what is being biopsied or where it is being done.
Blood tests cost less, however, multiple blood tests may cost around the same.
How does it take to get results?
The time depends on a number of factors. The size of the diagnostic centre, the number of employees, the infrastructure are relevant to how long it takes to get the results. Usually, diagnostic centres affiliated with hospitals don’t take more than a week.
Types of cancer treatment:
Surgery – Cryosurgery, laser surgery, electrosurgery and microscopic controlled surgery are some of the surgeries used to remove cancerous tissue.
Cryosurgery – In many skin and cervical cancer, the tumour is removed by liquid nitrogen which froze the cancerous tissue and effectively removes it from the body.
Laser surgery – When a very small cancerous area needs to removed lasers are used as they are precise and effective. Usually done on skin, cervix, rectum, and larynx.
Electrosurgery – In this surgery electric current is used to kill cancer cells.
Microscopically Controlled Surgery – This is delicate surgery and needs precision, it is done for parts such as eye or layer of skin.
Radiation Therapy – In radiation therapy, ionized-radiation is used to kill cancerous cells or malignant cells. This therapy is usually done after surgery to help in minimising the further spread of cancer.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is anti-cancer drugs. These drugs inhibit mitosis and hence cell division. Chemotherapy is used a combination of drugs, although it is non-specific and attacks both cancerous or non-cancerous cells, the combination of the elements helps to travel to the specific location where is it needed.
Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is also called biologic therapy where the body is treated to boost its natural defence system to get rid of cancer. It slows down the spread of cancer cells. Immunotherapy may include monoclonal antibodies and tumour-agnostic therapies, non-specific immunotherapies, oncolytic virus therapy etc.
Hormone Therapy – Hormone therapy is used in breast or prostate cancer to slow down the spread of cancer.
Targeted Therapy – targeted therapy targets cancer-specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment to destroy cancer cells. This therapy is used in addition to chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant – The transplant of new stem cells helps in producing healthy cells for the body and reduce the formation of cancerous cells.
Why choose India for cancer treatment:
Cost of cancer treatment in India is 60- 80 percent lower than it is in developed countries. India has one of the best hospitals and doctors in Asia for the treatment of cancer, with cutting edge technology, infrastructure and medical facility.
In western developed countries the cost of treating cancer can go as high as 100,000$ where in India it can be done within 30,000$.
The figures vary with type and stages of cancer.
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