Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor, that occurs when the breast cells become abnormal. These cells mostly divide at an uncontrollable rate and can spread within the tissue or organ and to other parts of the body. The treatment options and the diagnosis depend on the stage of cancer, type of cancer, and its characteristics.

Breast Cancer treatment India

Breast Cancer is basically a disease that takes place when the cells present in the breast begin to grow abnormally. There are different kinds of cells in the breast and every cell gives rise to a different type of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer can occur anywhere in the breast as it is made up of three major parts namely lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. Lobules are glands that produce milk, ducts are tubes that carry the milk to the nipple and connective tissue surrounds and holds everything together. More often than not, Breast Cancer takes place in the lobules and ducts which as a result are known as –

  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

In this type of Breast Cancer, the cancerous cells extend from the lobules to the nearby breast tissues which can spread further to other parts of the body as well.

  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Here, the cancerous cells develop outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Besides, such type of Breast Cancer can also outspread or metastasize to other parts of the body.

However, Breast Cancer can also sprawl outside the breast with the help of lymph vessels and blood vessels. When such a condition arises, it is said that Breast Cancer has metastasized.

Best Hospitals for Breast Cancer Surgery in India

There are innumerable hospitals for Breast Cancer Treatment in India which has successfully carried out the Breast Cancer Surgery. However, the top hospitals which provide the best Breast Cancer Treatment in India are –

  • Tata Memorial Hospital

  • Apollo Hospitals

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

  • P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Center

  • Fortis Hospital

Cost Comparison

In India, patients of Breast Cancer have to pay just a fraction of the total cost that they have to pay in other well-regarded countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand, etc. In other words, a patient pays approximately 30% to 50% less than what he/she would pay in the other countries for the same treatment.

For instance, the average mastectomy cost in India is $3,000 to $4,500 whereas, in the USA, the same treatment costs around $10,000 to $20,000. Similarly, in UK, Thailand and Singapore, the mastectomy treatment costs about $8,000 to $15,000, $4,000 to $5,500 and $4,500 to $6,500 respectively.

Now, if we look at the lumpectomy cost in India, it is around $2,200 whereas it costs about $9,000 in the United States of America. Likewise, the lumpectomy cost in the United Kingdom, Thailand, and Singapore are $7,500, $3,000, and $3,500 respectively.

The cost of Breast Cancer Surgery in India varies from place to place. However, there are many more factors that play a vital role in the final cost of Breast Cancer Treatment. Some of the most commonly-faced factors are –

  • Type of Treatment

  • Surgeon’s expertise

  • Status of the hospital

  • Location of the hospital

  • Type of the hospital

  • Patient’s medical condition

Treatment and Cost

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About the Breast Cancer Treatment

The recent advances made in breast cancer treatment have revolutionized the way how women from this rare disorder are diagnosed and suggested a personalized treatment plan. These advances have made it easier for the doctors to arrive at a treatment plan, which is most suitable for the patient as per their individual characteristics and needs.

Different breast cancer treatment options help destruct complex mixture of cancer cells, which are otherwise difficult to treat using conventional breast cancer treatment. The treatment is started by the doctors handling the case as soon as the breast cancer diagnosis is confirmed.

Before the article delves into the different breast cancer treatment options, lets first take a look at how breast cancer develops and what are its symptoms and diagnosis methods.

Breast cancer: What do the statistics say?

Breast cancer primarily affects females aged above 40. However, that does not mean that it does not affect women aged below 40. Breast cancer can also affect males, although rarely.

Breast cancer starts in the cells of either one or both the breasts. It accounts for more than 16 percent of female cancer and contributes to 18.2 percent of all deaths that take place around the world because of cancer.

In the US alone, breast cancer affects more than 232,000 females and 2,200 males each year. It leads to death of more than 39,000 breast cancer patients in a year.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of breast cancer can be easily identified at home through breast self-examination. You should consult your physician on how to conduct this exam at home.

The most common breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Lump in the breast
  • Swelling in armpit
  • Change in colour and shape of the nipples
  • Rash, redness or pitting on the breast skink
  • Pain in the breast or armpits
  • Abnormal discharge from the nipples

In case of more aggressive breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, severe redness and itching may be present.

The patients are advised to contact their physician as soon as they notice any of the symptoms of breast cancer. The physician is the best person to diagnose whether it is normal or inflammatory best cancer, and accordingly, suggest treatment for breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Causes

The exact reason that causes breast cancer is unclear, despite the fact that every eighth woman suffers from it. However, there are several factors that have been associated with the development of breast cancer. Some of the breast cancer risk factors include:

  • Prolonged use of birth control pills
  • Obesity
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy
  • High breast density
  • Alcohol addiction
  • No history of pregnancy
  • Pregnancy after 35
  • Exposure to radiation

The risk of breast cancer naturally increases as women age. The risk is also higher in women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, possess BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or who have had their periods before the age of 12.

How is Breast Cancer Treatment performed?

Most commonly, as a part of treatment for breast cancer, a surgery is conducted to remove the cancerous lump or growth from breasts. Depending on the extent of cancer and its stage, surgery may be accompanied by another form of treatment as well, which are conducted either before or after the surgery.

The doctor decides upon a breast cancer treatment plan that is most suitable for the patient. The decision may depend upon the extent of spread, the overall health of the patient, the stage and the type of breast cancer (inflammatory, cancer during pregnancy, lobular carcinoma, ductal carcinoma and invasive breast cancer).

The team that conducts breast cancer treatment includes a surgeon, medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist. The different breast cancer treatment options are divided into two types:

Local Treatment: This type of treatment is localized, that is, it is only used to treat one specific location or primary site affected by cancer. It does not have any impact on the rest of the body.

The following are the two types of local treatment:

Surgery:

It is the most common form of treatment that targets to remove as much cancer from the primary location as possible. There are different types of surgeries, which can be selected by the doctor depending upon the requirement.

  • Mastectomy:
    In this type of breast cancer removal surgery, the entire breast is removed to eliminate cancer cells. It can involve either one or both the breasts.
  • Breast-conserving surgery:
    In this type of surgery, only the part of the breast containing cancer is removed. The goal is to remove just cancer and some part of surrounding healthy tissues and leave the rest of the breast as is.
  • Lymph node removal:
    This type of surgery is sometimes conducted in addition to either of the first two types of surgeries, in case cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
  • Breast reconstruction:
    This type of surgery is conducted after the removal of cancer, in case the patient demands to improve the appearance of the breast mounds after the removal surgery.

Radiation therapy:

Radiation is required by some breast cancer patients, mostly in addition to other types of treatment.  It is typically used in case of patients who have undergone mastectomy, breast-conserving surgery or if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Delivering high dose radiation to the affected part of the body helps reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

The radiation can either be delivered externally or by placing a small radioactive pallet in the affected area internally. The latter form of radiation therapy is known as brachytherapy.

Systemic Treatment:

This type of treatment involves the used of drugs that can be administered either orally or intravenously. The choice of drugs depends on the type of systemic treatment opted for, which, in turn, is dependent upon the extent and the type of cancer.

Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy are the three primary types of systemic therapy for breast cancer treatment.

Of all the three forms of systemic treatment, chemotherapy is the most common. Chemotherapy is recommended before the surgery to reduce the size of the tumor and after the surgery to kill off the remaining cancer cells. It involves the intravenous administration of specific anti-cancer drugs.

Hormone therapy is most commonly used in cases when the patient has tested HER-2 positive in the biopsy. Targeted therapy, on the other hand, is less commonly used.

Recovery from Breast Cancer Treatment

Recovery after breast cancer treatment is less painful and traumatic as compared to some of the other types of critical cancers. Therefore are, however, certain changes that breast cancer patients may have to deal with after their treatment. Some of these changes include the following:

  • The menstruation cycle is almost always affected by breast cancer patients during chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The patient experiences a temporary menopause that lasts for over a few months after the treatment. Therefore, the patient is expected to experience a few symptoms related to menopause, such as fatigue, mood swings, and hot flushes.
  • The fertility of the woman is also affected by the treatment. Therefore, they may feel affected physically and mentally and may need a strong emotional support during the recovery period.
  • In some women, the affected breast or both the breasts are removed surgically as a part of the treatment. As a result, they may lose their confidence because of their changed physical experience. However, they can opt for cosmetic surgery to regain the size and shape of their breast.
  • The side effects of cancer treatment such as extreme weakness, reduce appetite, weight loss, hair loss, and reduced immunity can be painful to deal with. Other side effects such as vomiting, nausea, headache, and joint pain can be effectively managed with the help of proper medications.

The medications after cancer treatment may continue for a few years to keep the regrowth of cancer cells in check. It may take several months for the patient to recover from the after-effects of cancer treatment.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you go for Breast Cancer Surgery in India?

India has become the perfect destination to undergo the surgery for Breast Cancer. As India boasts of world-class medical amenities and first-rate Breast Cancer surgeries, people from across the world travel to India just to treat their Breast Cancer effectively.

Along with the best healthcare services, the cost of the low cost of the treatment also gives a reason to the Breast Cancer patients to opt for India instead of the highly-developed countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Singapore, etc. Even the doctors performing the surgery for Breast Cancer are highly-qualified and have years of experience in their respective fields. Along with it, these medical professionals are affiliated with high-end and reputed hospitals of India.

All the highly-reputed hospitals of India are well-equipped with state-of-the-art technology and medical procedures. The best Indian Hospitals also provide extensive diagnostic and imaging services with the help of many modern types of equipment including Asia’s most advanced MRI and CT technology.

What is the overall cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India?

The Breast Cancer Treatment cost in India depends basically on various factors such as the type of treatment, type of hospital, location of the hospital, surgeon’s expertise, patient’s medical condition, the status of the hospital and many more. However, the overall cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India is $2,200 to $4,500 on an average.

Which hospital provides the best Breast Cancer Treatment in India?

There are innumerable hospitals for Breast Cancer Treatment in India which has successfully carried out the Breast Cancer Surgery. However, the top hospitals which provide the best Breast Cancer Treatment in India are –

  1. Artemis Hospital located in New Delhi 

The famous tertiary care institute, Artemis Hospital, has a separate daycare chemotherapy facility to treat advanced-stage cancer patients. Moreover, it also has a pain clinic for cancer-related soreness rehabilitation purposes. However, it mainly uses surgery to cure their patients of breast cancer.   

  1. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital located in Delhi

Known as the second-largest healthcare center in Delhi, the IAH, too, is regarded by many as the best breast cancer specialist in India. The multidisciplinary institute offers both surgeries as well as radiation therapy as the means of treatment. The oncology department also employs several modern technologies, such as Novalis TX, da Vinci Surgical method, and 6D robotic couch, for curing its patients. 

  1. Fortis Malar Hospital located in the city of Chennai 

If you are looking for a more efficient option to cure your condition, then the FMH should be the ideal one for you. The healthcare center offers almost all the facilities, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. to its patients. It also has a remarkable success rate in this arena. 

  1. Fortis Anandapur Hospital in Kolkata

One of the newest in the lineage of Fortis Hospital, FAH can be a decent alternative for you, if you do belong to West Bengal. The center mostly uses surgical procedures to cure the disease. However, it does use other means such as radiation or chemotherapy for those people whose condition has advanced quite a bit. 

  1. Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road

The Fortis Hospital of Bannerghatta Road is known as one of the most highly-equipped healthcare centers in India. The oncology team of the hospice is highly adept in the field of work and performs radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery to cure its patients' issues. Since its inception, the center has taken care of hundreds of cases successfully, as it thrives to eliminate the disease from the country.

Which are the top Breast Cancer Surgeons in India?

India is full of highly-experienced and professional doctors for the treatment of Breast Cancer. But, the most recognized and top Breast Cancer Surgeons in India are –

  • Dr. Kapil Kumar

  • Dr. Rajeev Agarwal

  • Dr. K Srikanth

  • Dr. CH Mohana Vamsy

  • Dr. Sushila Narayan

What is the recovery process post Breast Cancer Treatment in India?

The recovery process post Breast Cancer Treatment in India requires you to pay heed to several points such as –

  • Keep the treatment area clean and dry.

  • Keep your treatment area bandaged.

  • Keep more than one tube with you to drain blood and other fluid that gets collected in the course of healing. Remember, the unwanted blood and fluids must be drained from the affected area. Moreover, it would be best to measure the drained fluids and check for any kind of issues that your doctor might have asked you to watch out for.

  • Make certain to stay away from performing any type of vigorous activity for at least three to four weeks or as suggested by your doctor.

  • Make sure to wear a well-supportive and well-fitting bra round-the-clock for the first week after treatment.

What are the various Breast Cancer Treatment/Surgeries available in India?

The various Breast cancer Treatment/ Surgeries available in India are –

  • Surgery

There are many types of surgeries to treat Breast Cancer such as

  • Lumpectomy

This surgery focuses mainly on the removal of breast cancer by taking out the breast tumor and a slight portion of the surrounding healthy tissue. Lumpectomy is basically performed on tumors that are small in size.

  • Mastectomy

It emphasizes on removing the entire breast by taking out all the breast tissues which consist of lobules, ducts, fatty tissues, some skin as well. The nipple and areola also get eliminated while undergoing the simple mastectomy.

  • Sentinel Node Biopsy

This procedure includes the removal of a specific number of lymph nodes.

  • Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

This particular procedure includes the removal of many lymph nodes.

  • Radiation Therapy

In Radiation Therapy, high-powered energy beams are used like X-Rays to kill the cancerous cells. This procedure is carried out with the help of a large machine with energy beams which aims directly at the targeted area. Another way of performing Radiation Therapy is to place radioactive material inside the affected area.

  • Chemotherapy

In Chemotherapy, drugs are the major components used to destroy the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is advised to patients when there is a high risk of their cancer to return or spread out to other body parts.

  • Hormone Therapy

This therapy is particularly performed when the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones. Hormone therapy can be of great help if cancer has already extended to the other body parts.

  • Targeted Drugs

Targeted drugs come to rescue when the cancerous cells start growing in an abnormal manner. The most popular targeted drugs used for the treatment of Breast Cancer are –

  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin)

  • Pertuzumab (Perjeta)

  • Ado-trastuzumab (Kadcyla)

  • Lapatinib (Tykerb)

  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)

What are the factors affecting the cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India?

There are a number of factors affecting the cost of Breast Cancer in India but here are some of the most common ones –

  • Type of Hospital

  • Location of the hospital

  • The reputation of the hospital

  • Type of treatment

  • Patient’s medical condition

  • Surgeon’s expertise

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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