Brachytherapy cost in Greece

What is brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a procedure of placing radioactive material inside the body of the patient to treat any sort of cancer. This process is often called internal radiation.  Brachytherapy enables doctors to convey higher portions of radiation to progressively explicit regions of the body, contrasted and the regular type of radiation treatment (outer shaft radiation) that ventures radiation from a machine outside of your body.  Brachytherapy may cause fewer reactions than does outer pillar radiation, and the general treatment time is typically shorter with brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is used to treat several types of cancer, including:

  • Bile duct cancer

  • Brain cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Cervical cancer

  • Endometrial cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Eye cancer

  • Head and neck cancers

  • Lung cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Rectal cancer

  • Skin cancer

  • Soft tissue cancers

  • Vaginal cancer

Symptoms of Brachytherapy

A portion of the symptoms of brachytherapy is like those seen with outside pillar radiation treatment, in spite of the fact that they are typically less extreme. 

Instances of intense or prompt symptoms include: 

  • Nearby swelling

  • Nearby wounding 

  • Release in instances of vaginal or womb cancer. 

  • Semen might be stained and, in uncommon cases, may contain ousted pellets. Patients are in this manner encouraged to utilize contraception during sex. 

  • Bleeding

  • Pain and discomfort at the site of the implant

  • The general sentiment of weariness 

Brachytherapy utilized for uterine, cervical, vaginal or prostate disease can prompt momentary urinary manifestations including urinary maintenance, torment on pee, incontinence, and failure to pee. Brachytherapy for these tumors can likewise prompt looseness of the bowels, stoppage and some rectal dying.

Factors affecting the cost of Brachytherapy

There can be varied factors that affect the costing of the procedure and many time external circumstances play an important role. The exact factors are:

  • State of the art technology

  • Brachytherapy isotope used

  • Individual spending capacity

  • Hospital allowances 

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About the Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy. It is also known as internal radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which ionizing radiation is used to destroy cancer cells and shrink the size of the tumors. The conventional form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation that projects radiation from a machine outside of the body. In case of internal radiation or brachytherapy, radioactive particles or sources that are internally placed in or next to the tumour site, are used to destroy cancer cells. Brachytherapy helps deliver a high radiation dose to the tumor, with minimal exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.It thus allows delivering high doses of radiation to more-specific areas of the body.

Brachytherapy can be used for effective treatment of cervical, prostate, breast, skin, lung, head and neck, and gum cancer, in addition to tumors located in other parts of the body. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer is a commonly performed procedure. It is also used for the treatment of gum cancer as well. Brachytherapy is an alternative treatment for gum cancer and is conducted who are unfit to undergo a surgery or do not need one.

Brachytherapy can be completed in less time than other conventional radiotherapy techniques. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer and other cancers is often performed on an outpatient basis and patients typically have to take fewer brachytherapy sessions, as compared to external radiotherapy treatment for cancer. This makes brachytherapy more accessible and convenient to many patients. Most of the patients are able to tolerate brachytherapy very well with fewer side effects.

Types of Brachytherapy

There are two types of brachytherapy treatment:

  • Temporary brachytherapy:

    In this method, highly radioactive particles are placed in a catheter or slender tube for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. Temporary brachytherapy can be administered at either low-dose rate (LDR) or high-dose-rate (HDR).

  • Permanent brachytherapy:

    In this method, a radioactive seed or pellet is implanted in or near the tumor and left there permanently. After a period of several months, the radioactivity level of the implanted seed eventually diminishes to nothing.

How is Brachytherapy performed?

Brachytherapy treatment plan is created and governed by a radiation oncologist, who is a highly trained physician specializing in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The radiation oncologist will require a team, including a medical physicist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist, radiation therapy nurse and in some cases, a surgeon to conduct the procedure. However, the radiation oncologist is the one who evaluates the patient and determines the appropriate therapy, including how much radiation to deliver.

In permanent brachytherapy, needles that are pre-filled with the radioactive brachytherapy seeds are inserted into the tumor. Then the needle or device is removed, leaving the radioactive seeds behind. Sometimes these seeds may be implanted in sessions using a device that inserts them individually at regular intervals. An appropriate imaging means such as an ultrasound, X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be used to assist the physician in positioning brachytherapy seeds at the right place. After implantation, some additional imaging can be done to verify seed placement.

Temporary brachytherapy starts with placing a delivery device, such as a catheter, needle, or applicator, into the tumor. Methods of imaging such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan will help position the radiation sources correctly. The delivery device can either be inserted into a body cavity such as vagina (intracavitary brachytherapy) or applicators such as needles or catheters can be inserted into body tissues (interstitial brachytherapy). Device implantation will depend on the location of cancer.

Radiation using brachytherapy procedure can be delivered at three different levels:

  • High-dose-rate (HDR):

    HDR brachytherapy is given for over 10 to 20 minutes per session, but it can take several hours worth of preparation, which includes device placement. HDR brachytherapy is mostly conducted as an outpatient procedure, although sometimes patients are admitted for one to two days to have several HDR brachytherapy sessions using the same applicator.

    HDR brachytherapy delivers a specified dose of radiation to the tumor in a short burst using a remote-afterloading machine. This will help protect the patient from unnecessary exposure to radiation. This procedure can be repeated a couple of times on the same day.
  • Low-dose rate (LDR):

    LDR is delivered at a continuous rate of radiation for over 20 to 50 minutes. The patient needs overnight hospitalization so the delivery device can remain in place throughout the treatment. The radiation oncologist may insert the radioactive particle manually through the delivery device and remove the material and delivery device after the treatment.

  • Pulsed dose-rate (PDR):

    PDR brachytherapy is delivered in a similar way of LDR, but the treatment takes place in periodic pulses instead of continuous radiation. 

Recovery from Brachytherapy

For patients who have received brachytherapy for prostate cancer or any other types of cancer, limiting physical activity for at least three to five days is important. You can experience some level of grogginess after the procedure, however, it will last for only a few hours. You will be prescribed a few emergency medicines that you can take in case you experience pain or any other type of discomfort.

There are some side effects associated with all kinds of radiation therapy. However, the acute, sub-acute, or long-term side effects of brachytherapy depend on the location of the tumor being treated and the type of brachytherapy being used.

Some acute side effects of brachytherapy are

  • Localized bruising,
  • Bleeding, swelling,
  • Fatigue and discomfort within the implanted region.

But these are temporary side effects and usually resolve within a few days following completion of treatment.

Usually, brachytherapy does not cause any long-term side effects, but in a few cases, it may cause urinary and digestive problems. But in that case as well, long-term side effects are usually mild or moderate in nature and there are many palliative medicines that are available to cope with the symptoms.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Brachytherapy in Greece?

The Brachytherapy package cost in Greece varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. The cost quoted by some of the best hospitals for Brachytherapy in Greece generally covers the pre-surgery investigations of the patient. The treatment cost usually includes the expenses related to hospitalization, surgery, nursing, medicines, and anesthesia. Post-surgical complications, new findings and delayed recovery may have an impact on the total Brachytherapy cost in Greece.

Which are some of the best hospitals in Greece for Brachytherapyt?

There are many hospitals across the country that offer Brachytherapy to international patients. The following are some of the most renowned hospitals for Brachytherapy in Greece:

  1. Metropolitan Hospital
  2. European Interbalkan Medical Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Brachytherapy in Greece?

While the speed of recovery may vary from patient to patient, they are still required to stay for about 21 days after discharge. This is important to ensure that the surgery was successful. During this time, control and follow-up tests take place to check for medical fitness.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Brachytherapy?

Greece is considered to be one of the best places for Brachytherapy in the world. This is because of the availability of some of the best doctors, advanced medical technology and good hospital infrastructure. Some of such countries are:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 800
IsraelUSD 22500
SpainUSD 24000
ThailandUSD 4500
TurkeyUSD 4000
United Arab EmiratesUSD 6000
How much are the other expenses in Greece apart from the cost of Brachytherapy?

Apart from the cost of Brachytherapy, the patient is also required to pay additionally for daily meals and guest house accommodation. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in Greece for Brachytherapy Procedure?

Some of the cpopular cities in Greece that offer Brachytherapy include the following:

  1. Salonika
  2. Chortiatis
  3. Rhodes
  4. Athens
  5. Ethnarchou Makariou
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Brachytherapy in Greece?

The average duration of stay at the hospital after Brachytherapy is about 1 days for proper care and monitoring. The patient is subjected to several biochemistry and radiological scans to see that everything is okay and the recovery is on track. After making sure that patient is clinically stable, discharge is planned.

How many hospitals offer Brachytherapy in Greece?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in Greece. The above mentioned hospitals have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.

Who are the best doctors for Brachytherapy in Greece?

FAQ's Related to Greece

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Greece?

The most popular hospitals in Greece are:

  1. The Central Clinic of Athens, Athens
  2. Athens Vita Veritas
  3. European Interbalkan Medical Centre, Chortiatis
  4. Metropolitan Hospital, Ethnarchou Makariou
  5. Euromedica General Hospital of Rhodes, Rhodes
  6. New Life IVF, Salonika
  7. Garavelas Medical Group, Athens

Greece has world-class hospitals that strictly follow international health standards and are backed by internationally accredited physicians. There are several contemporary hospital units found in popular Greece destinations including Peloponnese, Crete, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis, Kalamata, Corfu, and Athens. They are pioneers in the development of medical tourism and suitably equipped to meet the needs of patients and visitors.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Greece?

Joint Commission International (JCI) is the main healthcare accreditation body in Greece. JCI consults global healthcare experts, providers, and patients to develop healthcare standards. There is a strict evaluation process to assess the quality and performance of hospitals and the certification is awarded to only those hospitals that meet all the criteria defined by JCI. The healthcare standards offer a strong comprehensive corrective action plan for ensuring quality culture at all levels and across all functions.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Greece?

One of the leading destinations for medical tourists, Greece attracts thousands of overseas patients seeking the best care at competitive prices. Well known for its excellent medical services, Greece is recognized throughout Europe and the U.S. for its top-quality medical facilities that follow international healthcare standards. Beautiful landscape, unique Mediterranean food, and therapeutic natural springs are some of the reasons why Greece is one of the most preferred medical tourist destinations in the world. There are other factors that help make Greece one of the top medical tourism destinations in the world, including technology-based medical care, highly trained and professional medical professionals, and world-class private healthcare services.

What is the quality of doctors in Greece?

The level of specialist doctors in Greece is very high. Around 95 percent of doctors in the country are specialists, rather than general practitioners. World-class fertility experts in Greece have helped in attracting a large number of international patients seeking IVF and other fertility treatments in the country. The government has strict rules in place for the assessment of the quality of doctors. Doctors must attend a minimum of 80 hours of compulsory further training every five years. Doctors in Greece have grabbed global attention because of several things like their unique surgical approach to complex penile urethra stenosis, doing free-of-charge cardiothoracic surgery, and performing the first live-streamed global interactive rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery.

What is the process for obtaining medical visa in Greece?

Two types of visas can be availed by a candidate for traveling to Greece for treatment:

  1. Schengen Visa: For short stay
  2. National Visa: For prolonged stay

A person holding a Schengen Visa can stay in Greece for a period of 90 days within a period of six months. Here is the list of important documents that you will require when applying for a medical visa:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Recent passport size photographs
  3. Valid insurance papers
  4. Accommodation proof from the candidate
  5. Employment documents along with bank statements
  6. Medical certificate attested by the referring registered medical practitioner

Greece embassy reviews the submitted documents and will make a decision on granting a medical visa.

What are the popular procedures available in Greece?

The popular procedures in Greece are:

  1. IVF
  2. Breast augmentation
  3. Liposuction
  4. Nose reshaping
  5. Eyelid surgery
  6. Face lift
  7. Hair transplantation

Also, Greece attracts a large number of people seeking renal dialysis. Many state-of-art dialysis centers are present all across the country. With the best technology, highly trained plastic surgeons, and the latest innovations, Greece has reported huge success in plastic surgery. According to a report, 300,000 cosmetic procedures are being performed in the country. The standard of IVF offered in the country is excellent. Greek scientists are at the forefront of research into fertility treatment, especially, male fertility and sperm health.

Which are the most popular cities in Greece for medical treatment?

The cities in Greece which have received worldwide recognition for medical tourism are: 1. Athens 2. Kalamata 3. Peloponnese 4. Alexandropoulos 5. Thessaloniki 6. Corfu 7. Athens

Athens attracts the most number of medical tourists visiting the country as the city has a large pool of good hospitals that offer high-standard medical services in a wide range of disciplines like cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, gynecology and obstetrics, and rehabilitation. One of the most visited islands in Greece, Santorini is medical tourist heaven due to its excellent scenic value which helps in the speedy recovery of patients through relaxation and rejuvenation. Other factors that make these cities popular among medical tourists are cheap accommodation, language assistance, transportation facilities, and a wide range of food options.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to Greece?

Vaccination is compulsory before traveling to Greece. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines:

  1. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  2. Chickenpox
  3. Shingles
  4. Pneumonia
  5. Influenza
  6. Hepatitis A
  7. Hepatitis B
  8. Meningitis
  9. Polio
  10. Measles
  11. Rabies
  12. Mumps and rubella (MMR)

Some parts of Europe are affected by periodic outbreaks of routine diseases, hence it becomes essential for a traveler to get immunized. It is always recommended to get immunized before traveling to Greece as some of its parts are periodically hit by routine diseases. You should also keep yourself updated with a travel advisory issued by the government or contact your hospital in Greece for complete information on vaccination guidelines.

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