Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer Treatment in India

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Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent causes of cancer in women. According to studies, approximately 2.3 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year globally. Breast Cancer Treatment cost in India ranges from USD 3500 to USD 15,000. Cancer grows through various stages and causes a variety of symptoms. The life expectancy of a breast cancer patient is expected to be more than 5 years after diagnosis.

Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India

City Name Cost in USD
Delhi $3500 – $12000
Gurgaon $4000 – $14000
Noida $3000 – $12000
Mumbai $6000 – $18000
Pune $4000 – $10000
Kolkata $4500 – $12000
Chennai $6000 – $15000
Hyderabad $6000 – $15000
Ahmedabad $4000 – $12000
Kochi $6000 – $16000

Treatment Options for Breast Cancer and Cost in India

There are various types of surgeries for breast cancer. Based on the stage of cancer, different treatment options are available

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Lumpectomy $2000 – $3000
Mastectomy $4000 – $6000
Chemotherapy (per cycle) $400 – $1500
Radiotherapy $5000 – $8000
Targeted Therapy Enquire Now
Hormone Therapy Enquire Now
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  • Surgical Options– The cost of surgical options for breast cancer ranges from USD2000 to USD6000
    • Lumpectomy: In this, the tumor and tissues surrounding it are affected and subsequently removed.
    • Mastectomy (breast removal): In this, one or both of the affected breasts are removed.
    • Simple or total mastectomy: the breast is removed completely along with the nipple. The lymph nodes are not detached from the axilla. It is done for cancers that have not spread to surrounding tissues.
    • Modified or radical mastectomy: the entire breast tissue along with lymph nodes and nipple in the armpit or axilla.
    • Radical mastectomy: the lymph nodes, breast tissue, and chest muscles are removed.
  • Breast Conservation Surgery (BCS)– In this, the cancer is carefully removed to preserve the normal breast as much as possible. Some lymph nodes and healthy tissues are removed as well.
  • Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy– In this, cancer may be present in only one of the breasts, but patients tend to remove the second healthy breast.
  • Breast Construction Surgery– It consists of two categories: Implant reconstruction: to form a new breast mound, breast implants are used. Flap reconstruction: tissues from other organs are used to construct new breasts.
  • Oncoplastic surgery– Most women who undergo breast conservation or lumpectomy may have deformed breasts at the end. Hence, this surgery is done either with the initial surgery or at the end of the treatment.
  • Chemotherapy– is another form of treatment for breast cancer. In this, the doctor attempts to destroy the rapidly growing cancerous cells through active and powerful chemicals. The medicines are given through IVs or injections. It may also be given to patients even after surgery to make sure that all cancerous cells are destroyed, even in the surrounding areas. Sometimes it is given before the surgery to shrink the tumor before surgically removing it.
  • Radiotherapy– In this, high-intensity radiation is used to destroy the remaining cancer cells after the surgery.
  • Targeted Therapy– In this, medicines and drugs are used to target particular proteins and genes that aid in cancer cell growth. This treatment can affect the environment of the tissues that encourage survival and growth of the cancer cells like cells of blood vessels.
  • Hormone Therapy– if breast cancer is hormone sensitive, this treatment can be employed. In this, the body’s hormones are blocked. It is done to prevent the regrowth of hormone-sensitive cancer cells.

Suitable Surgery Options Available for Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgery Options Cost in USD
Mastectomy $4000 – $6000
Lumpectomy $1500 – $2000
Lymph Node Dissection Enquire Now
Reconstructive Breast Surgery $8000 – $12000
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  • Mastectomy or breast removal surgery is the most commonly done breast cancer surgery. It can treat both early and end-stage cancer. It includes Total (It is the removal of the entire breast), Skin or nipple-sparing (It is the removal of the breast but not the skin and the nipple), Modified (It is the removal of lymph nodes in the armpits and breast tissue) and Radical (It is the removal of breast tissue, lymph nodes in the underarm and the chest muscles).
  • Lumpectomy: It is a conservation surgery and involves the removal of only parts of the breast. It serves as an option for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The advantage of this is that the breasts are conserved and then it prevents cancer from returning. In this, the margin of the lump is removed from the surrounding tissue as well. It consists of Excisional biopsy (the original excision of the cancerous tumor and the marginal tissues around it), Wide local excision (the cancerous tumor and the tissue surrounding it is removed), and Re-excision (the original excision of the cancerous tumor and the marginal tissues around it).
  • Lymph Node Dissection: It is the first place where cancer starts spreading hence, it is a warning sign that cancer may spread further. It includes Sentinel node biopsy (investigative procedure for checking the spreading of cancer in the lymph nodes) and Axillary node dissection (If the sentinel biopsy tests positive, a larger portion of the lymph nodes is removed for analysis).
  • Reconstructive Breast Surgery: The removed part of the breast can be reconstructed with plastic surgery to give it shape. Regardless of delayed or immediate surgery for reconstruction, one may need follow-ups to perfect the outcomes. The follow-up surgeries help in shaping and balancing the breasts along with other techniques. It consists of Implants (silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline, that replaces the removed tissue and restores its volume and shape), Flap or autologous reconstruction (Fat, skin, and sometimes muscle from areas like the buttocks of the belly that resemble and feel like breasts are used) and Nipple reconstruction (The nipple preserved in a lumpectomy is used in the reconstruction).

The treatment Cost for stage 0 breast cancer

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Radiation Therapy $4500 – $8000
Lumpectomy surgery $2000 – $3000
  • Stage 0– In this, no evidence is found in the breasts. The cancer is only in the ducts of breast tissue and has not reached the surrounding tissue. It is known as in-situ or non-invasive cancer. The cost in the first year of treatment is USD 60,637. The risk of recurrence of stage 0 breast cancer or future development is small.

The treatment Cost for stage 1 breast cancer

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Radiation therapy $4000 – $8000
Chemotherapy (per session) $400 – $2000
Lumpectomy $2000 – $3000
Mastectomy $4000 – $6000
  • Stage 1– In this, the tumor may be invasive and small but has not spread to the lymph nodes (IA). Or the cancer is larger than 0.2 but very less than 2mm and has spread to the lymph nodes. There may not be any evidence of cancer in the breasts (IB).  The cost in the first year of treatment is USD 82,121. Cancer can reoccur in the first few weeks or years.

The treatment Cost for stage 2 breast cancer

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Radiation therapy $4000 – $6000
Chemotherapy (per session) $400 – $2000
Radical Mastectomy $4000 – $6000
Lumpectomy $2000 – $3000
  • Stage 2– The cost of stage 2 treatment is similar to the stage 1 treatment cost. There is a risk of a 7-11% chance of local recurrence in the first 5 years of treatment. There can be various conditions:
    • IIA: Cancer has spread to the 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes but has not spread to the breast and distal organs of the body. The tumor has spread to nodes but is smaller than 20mm
    • IIB: The tumor is bigger than 20mm but smaller than 50mm and has not spread to the nodes or it is not larger than 50mm and has spread to the nodes. The tumor is larger than 50mm and has spread to 1-3 axillary nodes.

The treatment Cost for stage 3 breast cancer

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Radiation therapy $4000 – $8000
Chemotherapy (per session) $400 – $2000
Mastectomy $4000 – $6000
  • Stage 3– The cost of stage 3 treatment is USD 129,387. Cancer reoccurs in the first 2 years after treatment. There can be a few different conditions:
    • IIIA: The tumor has spread to the 4-9 axillary nodes or the internal nodes of the mammary glands, and may be larger than 50mm.
    • IIIB: The tumor has spread to the wall of the chest or has swelling or ulceration in the breasts or inflammatory breast cancer.
    • IIIC: The tumor has spread to more than 10 nodes, lymph nodes in the collar bone, and internal mammary lymph nodes. It has not reached other organs.

The treatment Cost for stage 4 breast cancer

Treatment Options Cost in USD
Radiation therapy $4000 – $8000
Chemotherapy (per session) $400 – $2500
Immunotherapy $8000 – $14000
  • Stage 4: The tumor can be of any size and spread or metastasize to any other organ like the lungs, liver, brain, bones, chest wall, or distant lymph nodes. These cancers are found to be about 6% at first diagnosis. The cost for treatment in the first year is USD 134,682. This type of cancer is not always terminal however, the chance of recurrence is almost 50%.

Recurrent: In this, the treated cancer may come back and can be termed as distant, local, and/or regional. If cancer does not reoccur, tests are done to ensure it is not back like the primary diagnosis.

Note: Average cost is USD 85,772 in the first year of treatment for all stages.

Types of Breast Cancer 

  • In situ cancers– It is a pre-cancer and has not spread to other parts of the body like DCIS (non-invasive).
  • Invasive cancers– Cancer spreads to the surrounding tissues or infiltrates them like IDC (invasive and is about 70% to 80% of breast cancers).
  • Ductal or Lobular carcinoma: This kind of tumor originates from the epithelial cells that form the lining of the organs. When carcinoma are formed in the breasts, they are majorly a specific type of cancer called adenocarcinoma. It starts with the duct cells in the breast (milk ducts) or lobules (milk-producing ducts).
  • Triple-negative: It is an aggressive type of cancer in which the cancer cells do not have receptors (PR or ER) for progesterone or estrogen. Also, the protein called HER2 is either not synthesized or made excessively.
  • Inflammatory: It is an invasive and aggressive kind of cancer that causes the breast to appear inflamed by blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. It is rare and is found in 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.
  • Paget disease: It is extremely rare, about 1%, and starts in the ducts and spreads to the areola through the nipple.
  • Angiosarcoma: It first starts in the cells that form the lining of lymph and blood vessels. It may spread to the breast tissue or skin. It may be related to previous radiation therapy.
  • Phyllodes tumors: They are rare. They form in the stroma or the connective tissue of the breast. They develop and grow in the lobules or ducts compared to other carcinomas. They are mostly benign but can spread or be malignant.

Test Cost for Breast Cancer in India 

Diagnostics Test Cost in USD
Breast Examination $50 – $150
Mammography $15 – $30
Breast Ultrasound $10 – $15
Breast MRI $150 – $250
Breast Biopsy $1000 – $5000
  • Breast examination: The doctor checks both the breasts and lymph nodes in the patient’s armpits, feeling and checking for any abnormalities or lumps.
  • Mammogram: It is an X-ray done on the breast. They are commonly done for screening breast cancer. If an abnormality is observed in the screening mammogram, the doctor recommends a diagnostic mammogram for further investigation.
  • Breast Ultrasound: In an ultrasound, sound waves produce images of organs and structures deep in the body. It is used to check whether a new lump in the breast is fluid-filled or a solid-mass cyst.
  • Breast MRI: In this, the interior structures of the breasts are examined by magnet and radio waves that create pictures of them. Prior to the breast MRI, a dye injection is given for imaging.
  • Breast cell biopsy: It is the most precise way to diagnose breast cancer. During this, the doctor utilizes special needles to extract tissues and cells from the core of the breast through X-rays or other imaging techniques. Often a tiny metal marker is left on the site inside the breasts so that it can be identified in the future if required. It also helps in identifying the type of cancer cells in the sample and whether it has hormone receptors for other treatment options.
Factors Affecting Breast Cancer Treatment in India
    • India is an emerging hotspot for breast cancer treatment through extraordinary hospitals and medical facilities. The government and local authorities have boosted medical infrastructures and services.
    • Oncologists and surgeons providing breast cancer treatment are qualified specialists and experts. They can diagnose the cancer stage and carry out the appropriate treatment plan for the specific stage. Cancer surgery can be performed accurately with advanced equipment. If desired, a patient can go for an online second opinion.
    • Breast Cancer Treatment hospitals in India are accredited with NABH, ISO, NABL, and CAP certifications majorly and are approved by DSIR. These facilities are equipped with top infrastructure and provide a safe and comfortable environment for patients.
    • Various treatment options like chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, etc. are available to patients. The medicines are readily available and the time gap is only a few months, like 3 months. The treatment won’t be lagging.
  • The cost of treatment in India is comparatively cheaper compared to other countries. However, less cost does not mean compromising the quality of treatment.

What is the Symptoms of Breast Cancer

What is the symptoms of breast cancer

  • Lumps or new lumps in the armpits or the breast
  • Dimpling and irritation of the skin
  • Pulling or pain in the nipple area
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • Swelling or thickening of some parts of the breasts
  • Flakiness or redness in the skin in the nipple area
  • Pain in any part of the breast
  • Discharge like blood or other discharge that is not breast milk from the breast
  • Growth of veins in the breasts

Causes of Breast Cancer

Causes of Breast Cancer

  • It is estimated that 5-10% of breast cancer are linked to genes that are passed on through generations. Genetic mutations that cause breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2, both of which play major roles in breast and ovarian cancer.
  • The risk of breast cancer increases with increasing age.
  • A personal history of other breast conditions: If an earlier biopsy showed the presence of LCIS or atypical hyperplasia, one has an increased risk of developing cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation as a child or as an adult increases the risk
  • Menopause starts at an older age
  • Having a child after the age of 30 may increase the risk of breast cancer
  • Women who have never been pregnant may have a higher risk of cancer than women with more number of pregnancies
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy taken by women is like medication in combinations of progesterone and estrogen.
  • Drinking excessive alcohol

Top Hospitals in India for Breast Cancer Treatment

1. Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi

Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi

Fortis Hospital offers first-class breast cancer treatment. It has been accredited with NABH and NABL certifications. It is equipped with a 262-bed facility. A 24×7 blood bank service is available. It provides facilities like radiation oncology, PET-CT, modular operation theaters, high-tech labs, etc.

2. Jaypee Hospital, Noida

Jaypee Hospital, Noida

Jaypee Hospital has ECHS and CGHS panels. It consists of 525 operational beds and 18 modular operation theaters. It houses more than 400 qualified and skilled doctors. Services like 2 MRI with high intensity focused ultrasound, CT simulation, 64 Slice PET CT, etc.

3. Seven Hills, Mumbai

Seven Hills, Mumbai

Seven Hills is accredited by NABH, NABL MC, and ISO credentials. It has 24 specialties and 1500 inpatient bed capacity. Diagnostic tests and examinations like MRI, CT scan, biopsies, etc are done regularly. A unit for aiding international patients is also available.

4. Aster Medcity, Kochi

Aster Medcity, Kochi

Aster Medcity has been accredited with NABH. It has a 24-hour trauma and emergency care center. It also has a separate center for integrated medicine. Technologies like minimal Access Robotic Surgery (MARS), ORI fusion Digital Integrated operation theaters, pharmacies with automated drug dispensing, digital anesthesia facilities, etc. are available.

5. Pushpawati Singhania Hospital and Research Institute, Delhi

Pushpawati Singhania Hospital and Research Institute, Delhi

Pushpawati Singhania Hospital is accredited with NABH and NABL. It consists of high-tech labs and a modular operation theater. Technologies like Multislice CT scan, AF with 3D mapping imaging, 1.5 Tesla MRI, etc are available for accurate diagnosis.

Top Doctors Available in India for Breast Cancer Treatment

1. Surender Kumar Dabas
Oncologist, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi
Experience: 15 years

 

Dr. Surender Kumar Dabas | Best Surgical Oncologist in India

Qualification: MBBS, MS, DNB (Surgical Oncology)

  • He has a fellowship in Robotic surgery in MD Anderson Cancer Centre in the USA and IASO.
  • He has research papers on robotic surgery in head and neck oncology.
  • He has treated symptoms like hoarseness, headache, bone pain, chest pain, etc.

2. Pankaj Kumar Pande

Surgical Oncologist, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi
Experience: 23 years

 

Dr. Pankaj Kumar Pande | Best Surgical Oncologist in India

Qualification: MBBS, MS

  • He has certification from FRCS Glasgow in UK
  • He is a member IMA, DMC, and ISO
  • He has successfully treated symptoms like shortness of breath, losing weight without trying, hoarseness, coughing up blood, etc.

3. Arun Goel

Surgical Oncologist, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Ghaziabad
Experience: 24 years

 

Dr. Arun Goel | Best Surgical Oncologist in India

Qualification: MBBS, MS

  • He was a Senior Consultant at Dharamshila Cancer Hospital
  • He has memberships from ESSO, IASO, ISO, IAGS, IHPBA and ASI
  • He has successfully treated diseases like breast cancer, larynx cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and bowel diseases, pancreatic head cancer, etc.

4. Priya Tiwari

Medical Oncologist, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon
Experience: 18 years

 

Dr. Priya Tiwari | Best Surgical Oncologist in India

Qualification: MBBS, MD, DM

  • She has memberships from IJSPRO, ESMO, ASCO and MASCC
  • She has performed procedures like breast cancer treatment, cervical cancer treatment, targeted therapy, ovarian cancer treatment, colorectal cancer, chemotherapy, etc
  • She has successfully treated symptoms like fatigue, weight changes, unexplained bleeding, persistent fevers, etc.

5. Sajjan Rajpurohit

Medical Oncologist, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi
Experience: 20 years

 

Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit | Best Surgical Oncologist in India

Qualification: MBBS, MD, DNB

  • He is a member of DMC, ICON, and ISMPO and has won the Dr. Satya Gupta Memorial Award
  • He has successfully performed treatments for breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, etc.
  • He has published many research papers.

Why do foreigners choose India for Breast Cancer Treatment?

India provides premium care and the greatest quality of breast cancer care to international patients through medical and non-medical staff. Also, the cost of breast cancer is less compared to other countries. Hospitals have advanced equipment and modern infrastructure that provides the best environment and comfort to patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

To choose the best hospitals for breast cancer in India, a patient should consider the hospital’s accreditation, provision for EMI/loan along with insurance coverage, testing, and treatment facilities, and stay and related services.

  • Educational background– The surgeons and doctors should be certified by the board and their education should be completed from recognized institutes. The top hospitals employ doctors who are well-experienced and provide dependable clinical services.
  • Years of relevant experience– The medical experience and career account for their success rate, number of operations, and the ability to treat complex surgeries.
  • Specialized fellowships and training– Many doctors undergo further specialization and training in their fields to gain proficiency in advanced techniques. To acquire hands-on experience and skills, the doctor opts for specializations and fellowships.
  • Patient reviews and feedback– Reviews illustrate the patient’s experience and the behavior of the doctor with them.
  • Association with the accredited hospital– The treatment is performed either at a clinic or a hospital, so the standard and quality of the hospital or clinic are important. Accreditation ensures good quality healthcare services and patient care.

Breast cancer treatment costs USD1,022 to USD 23,338

  • Chemotherapy is another form of treatment for breast cancer. In this, the doctor attempts to destroy the rapidly growing cancerous cells through active and powerful chemicals. The medicines are given through IVs or injections.
  • Radiotherapy– In this, high-intensity radiation is used to destroy the remaining cancer cells after the surgery.
  • Targeted Therapy– In this, medicines and drugs are used to target particular proteins and genes that aid in cancer cell growth.
  • Hormone Therapy– if breast cancer is hormone sensitive, this treatment can be employed. In this, the body’s hormones are blocked. It is done to prevent the regrowth of hormone-sensitive cancer cells.

Most Insurance companies in India provide health insurance for breast cancer. These cover the cost of radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, ICU charges, Hospitalization, diagnostic tests, pre-hospitalization, etc. Things to know before buying breast cancer insurance:

  • Breast cancer is covered under critical insurance (such plans pay a hefty amount as soon as the patient is diagnosed)
  • Critical illness for regular health insurance plans (patients with regular health plans can opt for rider critical policy without buying it)
  • Waiting period applies to breast cancer (all critical illness plans cover breast cancer after a 90 day waiting period)
  • Survival period under critical insurance (all of these plans come with a survival period of 30 days)
  • Extra expenses may be incurred  (extra charges for traveling to chemotherapy sessions, diet plans, medical tools, etc)
  • Availability of free preventive health check-ups (they may offer an annual preventive free health check-up)

3 to 6 months (a tumor or cancer grows every 180 days usually)

Early-stage breast cancer is treated through chemotherapy for 3 to 6 months, but the doctor may adjust the timing according to the patient’s condition. If the breast cancer has advanced, treatment may last beyond 6 months.

Breast cancer is extremely treatable in its early stages. It is possible for breast cancer to go into remission completely. This means the cancer treatment is successful and hence, cancer will not form new tumors. However, advanced-stage cancer is not treatable in most cases. But treatment can help in shrinking cancer, relieving symptoms, slowing the spread of cancer, and prolonging a patient’s life.

Direct costs like medical testing, surgeries, therapeutic treatments, prescription medications, and doctor’s fees may be covered by Insurance plans. However, some indirect costs like physiotherapy, loss of income due to time off work, psychological therapy, parking, accommodation, etc charges are usually not covered by insurance plans.

A total of 30 days are spent in the country. A 4-day hospital stay, and 26 days outside hospital stay for 2 travelers.

Last modified on blank at Feb 02, 2024

Reviewed By :- Urvi Agrawal
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Guneet Bhatia

Guneet Bhatia is an avid reader, healthcare writer, and is currently Director of Patient Care Department, MediGence. She has also been featured on many prominent Healthcare portals such as IBTimes, HCIT Expert, Clinician Today.

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