Cost of Cancer Treatment in India

An Honest & Clear Explanation of Expected Costs

Cancer is a challenging diagnosis for anyone to face. Beyond the emotional and physical trauma of the disease, the financial burden of treatment is a significant concern for many. Due to advances in medical care, cancer, particularly in its early stages, often has a favorable prognosis when treated promptly. However, the appropriate treatment is often costly, especially for those without medical insurance coverage.

Why it is important to have a clear understanding of costs

As a leading medical assistance company in India, serving hundreds of international patients, including many with cancer, we often encounter the challenge of explaining the expected costs of cancer treatment. This information is crucial for families to make informed decisions about whether to come to India for advanced medical care or to continue treatment in their home country. We believe that providing realistic cost estimates will help patients make well-informed choices. Unfortunately, some unethical individuals offer low-cost estimates to attract patients, only to leave them in a difficult situation later. The following article aims to provide a fair, if not absolute, overview of the general cost estimates for different stages of cancer. We hope this information helps you make the best decision for your loved one’s treatment.

Common Protocol of Cancer Treatment

Here is the common protocol of cancer treatment applicable to most solid cancers. 

  1. Comprehensive investigations:
    • Includes: Blood investigations, Biopsy, Imaging tests (X-ray, CT, MRI as applicable), Whole Body PET CT scan etc.
  2. Treatment
    1. Stage I & II cancers: Generally surgery is done, followed by chemoradiation (chemo+radiation)
    2. Stage III Cancers: Generally chemoradiation is done first (to shrink the tumor), followed by surgery. Sometimes radiation may be done after surgery.
    3. Stage IV Cancers:
      • Chemoradiation; or
      • Chemoradiation+Targeted Th**apy or
      • Chemoradiation + Immunoth**apy
      • *Surgery is generally not an option in Stage IV Cancers.
  3. Dosage of the therapies:
    1. Drug Medications:
      • Chemo is generally given once in 15 days (twice in a month); that makes one chemo cycle. A total of 3 chemo cycles (9 doses) are generally given over 3 months.
      • Targeted medicines is given once in 15 days. A total of 6 doses given in 3 months.
      • Immuno medicine is given once in 21 days. A total of 4 doses generally given in 3 months.
    2. Radiation is generally delivered over 3-5 weeks.

Cost of Treatment as per above protocol

  • Comprehensive Investigation
    • Cost: Approximately $1000-1500
    • *Tip to save time & money: Please carry your biopsy blocks (if done already), CT/MRI images and all recent reports. That will reduce the cost of investigations.
  • Surgery cost:
    • If Minor surgery: Approximately $3000-5000; requires 2-4 days hospital stay.
    • If major complex surgery (usually involing lymph nodes and/or multi-organs): Approximately $5000-10,000; requires 4-6 days hospital stay.
  • Radiation  Cost
    • If IMRT: Approx. $ 3800 for full treatment
    • If IGRT: Approx. $ 5000 for full treatment
    • If VMAT: Approx. $6000 for full treatment.
  • Chemo Cost:
    • Approximately $1500 per cycle (3 doses).
    • Most patients need 3 cycles (9 doses) in 3 months.
    • Thus, total cost will be approx. $1500*3 = $4500
  • Targeted medicine Cost:
    • Approximately $2500 a cycle. 
    • It will be given along with chemo for 3 months
    • Thus, total cost will be approx. $2500*3= $7500
  • Immuno medicine Cost:
    • Approximately $3500 per cycle
    • It will be given along with chemo for 3 months
    • Thus, total cost will be approx. $3500*3 =$10,500.

*Still not clear? No worries, speak to us. Use the  “whatsapp chat” button below the page to start talking to one of our patient coordinators. 

*Kindly note: The above information is given only for a general understanding of the cost of Cancer Treatment.  This is not a prescription and treatment protocol and prices can certainly vary for individual cases. Contact us to get a close to accurate treatment plan and estimate for your patient. We will need your investigation reports to discuss with the concerned oncologists to give the best possible estimate for you.

FAQs

  1. Question: What if I don’t have as much money? 
    • You may take part of the treatment here in India, and the rest of it, you can complete in your home country. Our team will coordinate with your oncology team here whenever needed. Although it is best to complete the treatment here in India itself. But if you have financial constraints, this method helps you have your cancer treatment under an expert doctor from a top hospital in India, while saving some money as you will continue a part of the treatment in your home country.
  2. Will I be staying in the hospital?
    • Except for the period of surgery & recovery time (3-6 days), patient will not be staying in the hospital. Cancer treatment are given in OPD (out-patient-department) and doesn’t require admission in the hospital. You will be leaving hospital after completion of each session. You have to stay in a hotel or guest house close to the hospital. We will help you choose a suitable guest house or hotel as per your budget and preferences.
      • If however, patient’s medical condition is fragile, he/she can be admitted to the hospital; but in that case, the cost of hospatlization will be extra.
  3. Is there a guarantee of cure if we do treatment in India?
    • There is no guarantee of cure in any disease, and cancer is the most complex of diseases probably. Hence, there is absolutely no promise of guarantee of cure in any cancer treatment. Infact, you should never trust a doctor who gives a guarantee of cure.
      • It can however be said that if you take timely and right treatment, then you have a higher chance of cure. The chances higher in Stage I cancers and goes on decreasing as the stage increases. However, there is always hope of cure with good medicine and best care even in last stages of cancer. We try our best to ensure that.

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