Brachytherapy in India

Brachytherapy in India

Brachytherapy is a radiation therapy that is used to treat cancer by placing radioactive sources near tumors and cancer cells. It is also known as internal radiation therapy. It is primarily of three types: Unsealed Internal Radiation Therapy, Interstitial Treatment, and Intracavitary Treatment. Hospitals offering Brachytherapy Treatment in India have state of the art equipment including radiotherapy equipment as well as the personnel to handle such complex instruments. 

In contrast to external radiation, brachytherapy has lesser risks and side effects and lower time of treatment. Brachytherapy has achieved a high success rate in India, especially in cases of prostate cancer.

Cost Comparison

In India, the practice of brachytherapy is still not widespread, except at a few elite and private institutions. However, that said, India still offers competitive brachytherapy treatment compared to other countries such as the US and the UK. There are a number of premier hospitals with state of the art facilities offering the treatment to those with sufficient wherewithal. The cost of treatment varies depending on the type of cancer, from USD $900 for eye cancer to USD $7,500 for prostate cancer.

Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 800

Hospitals

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 is the average cost of Brachytherapy in India?

The average cost of brachytherapy in India (complete course) ranges between $1500 and $5000. This cost range is inclusive of the treatment, doctor’s fee, planning sessions, pre-procedure investigations, and follow-ups. The cost is not inclusive of a hotel stay, meals outside of hospital stay, and any other treatment that may be required alongside.

What are the factors affecting the cost of brachytherapy in India?

The factors that affect brachytherapy cost in India include the following: 

  • The type of cancer that the patient is suffering from
  • Stage, grade, and location of the cancer
  • Clinical status of the patient
  • Type of hospital and city it is located in 
  • Investigations required
  • The expertise of the specialist
  • Unforeseen expenses
Which are the top hospitals for Brachytherapy in India?

Some of the top hospitals or brachytherapy include the following:

  • Apollo Hospital, Chennai
  • Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram
  • Artemis Hospital, Gurugram
  • Gleneagles Global Hospital, Chennai
  • BGS Gleneagles Hospital, Bangalore
  • Dharamshila Narayana Cancer Hospital, New Delhi
  • Medanta The Medicity, Gurugram
  • HCG Oncology, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad
  • American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad
  • Max Superspecialty Hospital Saket, New Delhi
  • Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
Who are the top doctors for Brachytherapy in India?

The following are the top doctors for brachytherapy: 

  • Dr. Vineeta Goel, Max Superspecialty Hospital Saket, New Delhi
  • Dr. Nagraj G Huilgol, Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
  • Dr. Tejinder Kataria, Medanta The Medicity, Gurugram
  • Dr. S Hukku, BLK Superspecialty Hospital, New Delhi
  • Dr. Ramesh S Bilimaga, HCG Oncology, Bangalore
  • Dr. Ishita B Sen, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram
  • Dr. Sudarsan De, Jaypee Hospital, Noida
  • Dr. Mirza Athar Ali, American Oncology Institute, Hyderabad
  • Dr. Bharat Dua, Venkateshwar Hospital, New Delhi
What is the success rate of Brachytherapy in India?

The success rate of brachytherapy in India varies from one patient to the other. Several factors are considered while preparing the treatment plan for brachytherapy. 

Brachytherapy is available for the treatment of different types of cancer, including the following: 

  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Eye cancer
  • Gall bladder cancer

The pros and cons of brachytherapy for the treatment of each of these cancer types are different. They should be thoroughly discussed with the specialist to have clarity on the expected success rates.

What is the health care infrastructure of India / Why should opt for India as a destination for your medical treatment?
India is a large country with a rapidly expanding system of healthcare. Like many other countries, there are public and private hospitals in India. This also includes healthcare at three levels.
  • The primary level of healthcare includes Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres.
  • At the secondary level are District Hospitals and smaller Sub-District hospitals. These are the first referral units, mostly from the primary healthcare centres.
  • Finally, the top level of health care provided is the tertiary level, which consists of Medical Colleges and Specialized Hospitals.
Since India boasts of housing a large number of people, the requirement for good healthcare and treatment in India is always there. And this also means prompt delivery of the service. Most of the treatment in India has to be offered at reasonable costs to enable people of all classes to access it. Hence, you can be assured that this country will be a great destination for your medical treatment whichever hospital in India you wish to choose.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in India? 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 some JCI certified hospitals in India:
  • Fortis Escorts Health Institutes, Delhi
  • Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bangalore
  • Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
  • Apollo Hospital, Chennai
  • Sri Ramachandra Medical Center, Chennai
  • Ahalia Foundation Eye Hospital, Kerala
  • Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi
  • Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai
  • Fortis Hospital, Mumbai
  • Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
  • SevenHills Hospitals, Mumbai
  • Apex Heart Institute (A Unit Of TCVS Pvt)
  • Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata.
  • Fortis Hospitals Ltd, Mulund, Mumbai
  • Narayana Multispeciality Hospital Jaipur (A Unit of Narayana Hrudayalaya Ltd.)
Hospitals in India are ever-changing to accommodate more people with up to date technology. Hospitals in India also attract patients from other countries because of their diverse range of services. Apart from allopathy and conventional treatment procedures, the government of India, along with the hospitals in India also promote alternative medical treatment options like Ayurveda, homeopathy, and yoga. All in all, you will find great options for any kind of treatment in India.
Are the doctors/surgeons in India of the best quality?
Doctors and surgeons in India have to get through examinations and continue to uphold the standard of education that is provided to them. Since doctors get exposure to various patients during their course, they are able to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and illnesses. Therefore, one can rely on the doctors of India for their medical services.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in India?
The e-Medical Visa for India is an online travel authorization for foreign nationals who wish to seek medical treatment in the country. A medical Indian visa allows the holder to enter the country 3 times.

The e-Medical visa is a short term visa granted for medical treatment reasons. This type of visa is only granted to the patient and not to their family members.

Foreign nationals can acquire an India e-Medical visa by filling in an online application form. This simple process can be done from the comfort of the traveler’s home or office, avoiding a trip to an embassy or consulate.

Applicants must submit their basic personal information, including their full name, nationality, and date of birth. They must also provide a contact email address and phone number as well as their passport details. Finally, some security questions must be answered.

The form is quick and easy to fill out. The approved India medical visa is then delivered to the applicant’s email address within a few business days.
What support services does MediGence provide in India?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in India for medical treatment?
India is a beautiful country spread across the vast expanse of the Asian subcontinent. Most of the metro cities have hospitals, in India, with varying levels of infrastructure. Depending on your need and medical service, you can visit your choice of city.
The capital of India is Delhi and has many renowned hospitals like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Max Super speciality Hospital Fortis Hospitals, etc.
Other cities offering effective medical care include Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. These cities come under some of the major metro cities of India.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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