Brachytherapy cost in Singapore

Brachytherapy, or internal radiation, is available at selected hospitals in Singapore. This is a form of radiation treatment in which a small pellet, which is a radioactive source, is placed near the site of the tumor. It allows high doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor site without damaging the nearby tissues.

The pellets are placed permanently or removed after some time. It may be placed inside a body cavity or inserted with the help of a hollow needle.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Brachytherapy in Singapore

The following factors affect brachytherapy cost in Singapore:

  • Type of Hospital and its location
  • Type and location of the cancer
  • Stage and grade of cancer
  • Clinical status of the patient
  • The recommended dosage for radiation
  • Experience of the specialist
  • Doctor’s fee
  • Hospital charges
  • Additional taxes as applicable
  • Unforeseen expenses
  • Complications management
  • Any additional treatment required

Candidates for Brachytherapy in Singapore

Brachytherapy in Singapore is available for the treatment of a variety of cancers. Patients suffering from the following types of cancers can discuss with the specialists on whether they can receive brachytherapy in Singapore:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Eye cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Soft tissue cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer

Patients in which tumor regrowth is suspected can also receive brachytherapy in Singapore.

Treatment and Cost

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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 Singapore?

Brachytherapy package cost in Singapore has different inclusions and exclusions. The Brachytherapy package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The comprehensive Brachytherapy package cost includes the cost of investigations, surgery, medicines and consumables. There are many things that may increase the cost of Brachytherapy in Singapore, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.

Which are some of the best clinics in Singapore 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 Singapore:

  1. Farrer Park Hospital
  2. Parkway East Hospital
  3. Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  4. Gleneagles Hospital
  5. Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
How many days does it take to recover post Brachytherapy in Singapore?

After Brachytherapy in Singapore, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 21 days. This time frame is important to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient is fit to fly back.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Brachytherapy?

One of the topmost destinations for Brachytherapy is Singapore. It has a variety of accredited hospital, affordable cost of treatment and some of the best medical fraternity. However, there are other countries as mentioned below that are popular for Brachytherapy as well:

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

Apart from the Brachytherapy cost, the patient may have to pay for additional daily expenses such as for guest house after discharge and meals. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in Singapore for Brachytherapy Procedure?

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

  1. Singapore
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Brachytherapy in Singapore?

The patient has to spend about 1 days in the hospital after Brachytherapy for proper recovery and to get clearance for discharge. 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.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in Singapore offering Brachytherapy?

The average rating for Brachytherapy hospitals in Singapore is 2.7. This rating is automatically calculated on the basis of several parameters such as the infrastructure of the hospital, quality of services, nursing support and other services.

How many hospitals offer Brachytherapy in Singapore?

There are more than 5 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in Singapore. The above mentioned hospitals have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. Also, these hospitals follow the necessary guidelines as required by the medical associations for the treatment of Brachytherapy patients.

Who are the best doctors for Brachytherapy in Singapore?

FAQ's Related to Singapore

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Singapore?

Joint Commission International is known as the world leader in healthcare accredition and the hospitals in Singapore are also apprised by this agency. When it comes to healthcare quality and patient safety, the hospitals in Singapore are assessed by the Joint Commission International or JCI. Joint Commission International apprises hospital in Singapore on Organisation management and those hospitals that make the cut are the ones most sought after by everyone. The Joint Commission International keeps really stringent assessment measures before giving any hospital in Singapore the accredition.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Singapore?

The popular multi specialty hospital groups in Singapore are as follows

  1. Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  2. Raffles Hospital
  3. National University Hospital
  4. Gleneagles Hospital
  5. Singapore General Hospital
  6. Changi General Hospital
  7. Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  8. Tan Tock Seng Hospital
  9. Parkway Hospitals Singapore

The high standards of medical care provided by the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore ensures that a truly international patient population frequents them. The popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore are known for their high quality of medical professionals in a wide variety of specialties. The best of medical treatment can be had in the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore at less waiting times.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Singapore?

Healthcare in Singapore is identified with world class healthcare infrastructure and this gives you a strong reason to opt for treatment in Singapore. The hospitals and healthcare professionals in Singapore are well defined with the best of clinical outcomes and an all round care. The commitment to providing the best in terms of service quality is one of the most important reasons for anyone to choose Singapore as a healthcare destination. Singapore is a medical tourism hub because it has high degree of access to quality healthcare for all and seamless travel opportunities.

What is the quality of doctors in Singapore?

Thorough professionals with great degree of practical knowledge in their area of specialisation is how the doctors in Singapore are defined. The emphasis of the doctors in Singapore is on precision and efficiency of treatment and these can be used to assess that the quality of doctors in Singapore is really good. The doctors in Singapore are treating patients from different nationalities and cultures on a daily basis giving them a true international experience. The presence of sharp skills and being educated from the best of the educational institutions means that the doctors in Singapore are most sought after by the patients.

When traveling to Singapore for medical treatment, what essential documents do I need to carry along?

We bring to you the list of documents needed for your medical travel to Singapore:

  1. Medical Records and Reports describing your medical condition
  2. Communication from the hospital and/or the doctor that has referred you
  3. Passport
  4. Treatment Plan and Frequency of treatment
  5. Fit to travel confirmation
  6. To and Fro travel tickets
  7. Visa relevant to your visit as a medical traveller to Singapore
  8. Proof of financial means for travel and treatment
  9. Credit Card/Debit Card/Valid internet banking account in Singapore

It is important that you create the right checklist outlining the documents which you need to carry prior to your journey. The documents that you need to carry for your medical treatment to Singapore will be consisting of your financial standing, your travel related documents and the ones that are related to your medical condition. The travel documents that you are carrying with you should cover your requirements as a medical tourist which will make your treatment, stay and travel back as streamlined as possible.

What are the popular procedures available in Singapore?

The popular procedures available in Singapore are as follows.

  1. Dentistry
  2. Orthopedics
  3. Cardiology
  4. Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery
  5. Ophthalmology

It is their advanced education and training which ensures that the healthcare providers in Singapore are leaders in executing complex cardiology procedures. Cardiology procedures have long been the forte of healthcare providers in Singapore owing to their expertise stemming from the best of education and training in performing these procedures. There are may popular cosmetic surgery procedures which are regularly done in clinics and hospitals in Singapore such as:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Rhinoplasty
  3. Face Lift
  4. Breast Augmentation
  5. Blepharoplasty
What are the other facilities provided by hospitals in Singapore?

The hospital stay is sought to be made comfortable for the patient and their co travellers as well as with many facilities provided by the hospital itself. There are travel and transfer facilities being provided by the hospitals in Singapore such as:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Flight Booking
  3. Airport Transfers
  4. Interpreter

Private insurance is available in hospitals in Singapore as well as private payment gateways thus easing your medical travel to Singapore. Other facilities provided by hospitals in Singapore are health screening programmes, dietitians and presence of pharmacies in the hospitals.

What is the procedure for obtaining medical visa for Singapore?

When you are applying for a medical visa for Singapore visit do check the visa requirements for your country as Singapore has relaxed visa norms vis a vis many countries. Here are the requirement documents for a Singapore medical visa.

  1. Passport with the required time validity
  2. Completed application form
  3. LOI or Letter of Introduction from a local contact in Singapore
  4. A recent passport size photograph
  5. Bio data page photocopy of the passport of the applicant
  6. Covering letter and forwarding letter

It is good to note that it takes a minimum of five working days for the processing of your medical visa (exceptions maybe additional time during peak periods and due to incomplete visa applications). Do check the required visa fee from your country for Singapore medical visa. Your original bank statements will be checked by the concerned officials in order to assess your financials so that your Singapore medical visa can be granted.

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