Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in South Africa

Malignant formation of cells in the breast of women leads to breast cancer. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. The disease and its occurrence are found both in men and women alike, however, it is far more common in women. 

Generous help for breast cancer education, awareness, and research subsidizing has helped made advances in the determination and treatment of breast cancer disease. Breast cancer endurance rates have expanded, and the mortality rate related to this ailment is consistently declining, to a great extent because of factors such as early detection. Another customized way to deal with treatment and a superior understanding of the disease.

Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer, and family history.

Symptoms of patients with Breast Cancer

  1. A lump formation that may feel like a thickened mass of tissues around the breast. 

  2. Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast

  3. Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling

  4. A newly inverted nipple

  5. Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin

  6. Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Factors affecting the cost of Breast Cancer

Primarily, the factors affecting the cost of breast cancer vary with the socioeconomic status of the patient. The country in which the patient is procuring the treatment and the spending capacity of the patient. Mentioned below are some of the major factors:

  1. Age of the patient

  2. Stage of the treatment

  3. Medical history of the patient

  4. External allowances of the patient and the spending capacity of the patient

  5. Resources used and the technology incorporated into the procedure of the treatment

Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 18500

Hospitals

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

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
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 South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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