Cancer Treatment in Spain

About Oncology

Oncology is the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

When should you consider going for an oncology treatment?

Your doctor might refer you to visit an oncologist in a number of circumstances such as:

If you are undergoing a medical procedure of any kind and your the consulting physician notices a tumor or abnormal growth for which he needs a second opinion

Since most offices aren't equipped to diagnose a tumor is cancerous, you may be referred to an oncologist instead. People are often referred to an oncologist when:

  • You notice an abnormal growth and want it to get diagnosed if it is cancerous or non-cancerous
  • For the removal of a cancerous tumor
  • If you are in need of chemotherapy for the treatment and prevention of cancer

Cost Comparison

Below is the cost comparison of a few of the cancer treatments:

Country of Treatment Lung Cancer Treatment (Cost in USD) Prostate Cancer Treatment (Cost in USD) Breast Cancer Treatment (Cost in USD)
India 11000 7700 4000
Turkey 10000 10700 8950
UAE 12500 11500 9000


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of cancer treatment in Spain?

The cost of cancer treatment depends on a number of factors. Type of cancer and its location in the body, its severity, the stage at which cancer is, and most importantly the procedure approach being adopted. In the majority of cases, cancer cannot be treated with a single treatment approach. The treatment regimen consists of multiple approaches depending on the response to a particular therapy. This is accompanied by a series of diagnostic tests to be done on a regular basis and the utmost care required by the patient.

The cost per session for chemotherapy starts from US$ 1,020 and for Radiotherapy, it is US$ 1,090. Stereotaxic Radiotherapy package is offered by Quirónsalud Hospital Group at US$ 15,300. Many hospitals, in addition, offer a comprehensive package of all the diagnostic tests to be done before the beginning of realistic treatment. The package starts from US$ 6,100 that includes complete body CT scan, MRI, blood tests, pathological anatomy, and PET CT.

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

Three most crucial factors decide the cost of the treatment: Type of cancer and its severity, treatment approach, and duration of the treatment. Apart from these critical factors, there are several other factors like medication costs, diagnostic tests, hospital charges, and doctor’s consultation and follow up fees may incur an ancillary cost to the patient. 

The use of the most recent technology remains another factor affecting the general cost structure of the treatment. Other complications arising during or post-surgery are not included in total package cost, the patient has to resolve it separately.

What are the different types of cancer treatment in spain?

Following are the different types of cancer treatment offered in Spain

  • Chemotherapy: A systemic treatment where drugs are administered intravenously or given orally to kill cancer cells

  • Hormonal Therapy: Certain cancers (breast and prostate) are encouraged by hormones. This therapy act by adding, removing and/or blocking body hormones that stop/restricts the growth of cancer cells

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): Advanced radiation therapy for reducing the damage to active cells and tissues by the use of the high precision technique

  • Radiotherapy: Use of ionizing radiations to kill the cancer cells

  • Targeted Therapy: This therapy acts by blocking/interfering some molecules required by the cancer cells for their growth

  • Brachytherapy: Equally known as radioactive seeds, where radiation therapy is used to kill the cancer cells. It differs from radiotherapy, as radioactive material is directly placed on the tumor in this method

  • Image-Guided Radiosurgery: Procedure that helps achieve pinpoint accuracy to treat cancer tumors, surgical instruments are used with preoperative or intraoperative images by surgeons

  • Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT): Imaging techniques are demonstrated during the radiation treatment, that directs radiation therapy to utilize imaging coordinates

  • Photodynamic Therapy: This therapy involves the use of a drug (photosensitizing agent) and a distinct kind of light. During this therapy, a particular wavelength of light is incident on the drug, whereby the photosensitizing agent gets activated and oxygen is produced. This helps in eliminating the cancer cells. The wavelength determines the distance traveled by light in the body. Different wavelengths are used to treat distinct parts of the body

  • Stem Cell Cancer Treatment: Stem cells are early blood cells that develop into RBCs, WBCs, and Platelets. Stem cell transplant stimulate bone marrow growth and suppress the disease 

  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy: Introduced in 2007, this method delivers treatment with accuracy and speed. High dose distributions with accurate target volume are achieved with this novel radiation technique

  • Gene Therapy: Utilising genes to treat cancer. Abnormal or the absent gene is replaced with the healthy one so that useful proteins are produced.

  • Proton Therapy: Proton beams are irradiated on the cancer tissue to treat the cancer

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): This method is also termed as Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR). Excessive dose of radiation consisting of several beams and of different intensities is aimed at various angles of the body to target the tumor

Which are the best clinics in Spain for cancer surgery?

Best clinics in Spain for Cancer Treatment are: 

Quironsalud Spanish Medical Care: A leading hospital group in Spain has become the most enormous group in entire Europe post its merger with German company Fresenius-Helios. The group possesses a history of more than 60 years in delivering quality healthcare. 

50 hospitals with more than 40,000 healthcare professionals, the facilities are equipped to provide innovative treatments. The group caters all kinds of cancer patients and uses recent and most advanced therapeutic approaches to treat several cancers. The facility in Madrid is JCI accredited.

Hospital Ruber Internacional: Leading healthcare provider of the country, the hospital is recognized for its state-of-the-art technology. The hospital provides multiple cancer treatments by incorporating recent technological and therapeutic advancements in the treatment regimen.

Sanitas Hospitales: Firm belief in innovation, implementation of recent technologies, and advanced infrastructures at their hospitals, the group has provided healthcare to more than 2 million lives. Hospital Sanitas La Zarzuela and Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja are 2 facilities in Madrid and both are JCI accredited.

HM Hospitales: Established in 1990, the hospital is specialized in providing a bewildering variety of treatments, especially cancer. The oncology unit is run by a multidisciplinary team possessing global recognition and is expert in providing a broad range of treatments varying in complexity. 

The hospital supports clinical trial collaboration with the START center for cancer care and their comprehensive oncology center is first in Madrid and second in Spain.

Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon: One of the very few hospitals to have JCI accreditation and Generalitat of Catalonia (European Foundation for Quality Management) recognition together. The hospital is one of the largest privately held hospital and is specialized in prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of several cancers using most advanced treatments.

Who are the best oncologists in Spain for Cancer Treatment ?

Following are some of the best oncologists in Spain for cancer treatment:

Dr. Emilio Alba: Currently heading the Xanit Oncology Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, he is skilled in breast cancers and testicular germ cell tumors.

He is a prestigious member of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and several other organizations which enjoy global recognitions.

Dr. Javier Calleja Kempin: With fellowships from the University of Chicago in (Liver Transplant Unit and GI Surgery) and (Thoracic Surgery Department and General Surgery), he is skilled in cancer surgery of digestive system. He is currently working as Head of General and Digestive Surgery at Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital.

Dr. José Manuel Rodríguez Luna: Heading the Urology division at Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital, he has significant expertise in Laparoscopy surgery, cancer surgery and microsurgery techniques. 

Dr. Ricardo Sáinz De La Cuesta: Honoured as ‘Clinical fellow’ by John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland in Gynaecological Oncology. Dr. Ricardo is currently heading to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department at Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital.

Dr. Ramón Pérez Carrión: One of the most senior Medical Oncology & Radiotherapy Oncology specialists, he maintains 45+ years of experience in the field. He is currently serving as Head of the Oncology Integral Unit Department at Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital, Madrid.

What is the success rate for Cancer Treatment in Spain ?

The survival rate in cancer treatment is crucially affected by the type of cancer and the stage at which cancer is diagnosed. Apart from these two crucial factors, age, general health of the patient, gender, and race (in some cancers) also play a role. 

For instance, Breast Cancer when diagnosed at stage I, has 98.8% to 100% 5 years survival rates. If the cancer is diagnosed at stage II, the survival rate is dropped down to 93%. The best part is that the survival rate with respect to Breast Cancer has been consistently increasing (reported by American Cancer Society).

For small cell lung cancer, the early-stage diagnosis has led to a rise in surviving count and rate. Diagnosis at stage I have a survival rate of 31%, and at stage II it is 19%. 

In the case of prostate cancer, 80% chances are that cancer might spread to bones (hip, spine, and pelvis bones) and still be termed as prostate cancer. Post their relocation, the growth is resumed and new tumors are formed. At stage I, without bone metastasis, the five years survival rate is 56% and at stage II with bone metastasis, it is merely 3%.

The hospitals in Spain shorten the time lapse between the diagnosis and treatment. The hospitals have integrated fundamental and applied research and have rapidly paced the efforts to transfer clinical knowledge to practice. Most innovative technology and exceptionally skilled healthcare workforce in Spain have uplifted the 5-year survival rates for the majority of the cancers.

What is the health care infrastructure of Spain / Why should opt for Spain as a destination for your medical treatment?
Spain has a uni payer healthcare system. This means that there is universal coverage for most of the expenses (excluding prescription drugs). One might have to wait for quite some time to avail of elective procedure treatment in Spain. Non-European travelers must have valid health insurance coverage to benefit from the hospitals in Spain. One can also avail of it on a residency visa. The private insurance system helps you to avail the benefits at monthly costs. The taxes in Spain are comparatively lower than those of other European countries. Hence, one can surely opt for this country for medical treatment.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Spain? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Spain :
  • Vithas Xanit International Hospital
  • Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud
  • Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon
  • Hospital General de Catalunya
  • Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO Barcelona)
  • Sanitas Hospitales
  • Guttmann Institute
  • Instituto Balear de Oftalmología (IBO)
Are the doctors/surgeons in Spain of the best quality?
The hospitals in Spain are based on “el sistema national de salud” which provides high-quality care and medical centres, that is, “centros de salud”. This system has public and private healthcare systems, often within the same level. Since many countries send ex-pats here, one can even find an English speaking doctor very easily. Most doctors are adequately skilled and can handle the cases.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Spain?
One has to apply for a Schengen Visa to gain entry into Spain for a medical purpose. The required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa for Medical Treatment are as follows:
  1. Visa application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Valid travel document/passport.
  4. A copy of your passport's data page.
  5. Roundtrip flight reservation.
  6. Travel Medical Insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation
What support services does MediGence provide in Spain?
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Spain for medical treatment?
Spain has many cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Pamplona that have some of the best hospitals in Spain. Madrid has good hospitals for general and reproductive health facilities. Barcelona has hospitals specializing in child healthcare.

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