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

30

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

4 Day in Hospital

26 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

How much does Breast Cancer Treatment cost in South Africa?

In South Africa, the average starting cost for Breast Cancer Treatment is USD 18500. Many multispeciality hospitals which are COHSASA certified are approved to operate a Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa

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

The Breast Cancer Treatment package cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. Some of the best hospitals for Breast Cancer Treatment offer a comprehensive package that covers the end-to-end expenses related to investigations and treatment of the patient. Typically, the package cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa includes the expenses related to the surgeon's fee, anesthesia, hospital, meals, nursing and ICU stay. Extended hospital stay, complications after the surgery or new diagnosis may affect the overall cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Africa for Breast Cancer Treatmentt?

There are many hospitals across the country that offer Breast Cancer Treatment to international patients. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa include the following:

  1. Life Kingsbury Hospital
  2. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
How many days does it take to recover post Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

After Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 30 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 Breast Cancer Treatment?

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Breast Cancer Treatment in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of the other popular destinations for Breast Cancer Treatment include the following:

CountryCost
GreeceUSD 18500
IndiaUSD 3000
IsraelUSD 8000
LebanonUSD 18500
MalaysiaUSD 8000
Saudi ArabiaUSD 18500
SingaporeUSD 18500
South AfricaUSD 18500
South KoreaUSD 18500
SpainUSD 12500
SwitzerlandUSD 18500
ThailandUSD 9500
TunisiaUSD 18500
TurkeyUSD 4500
United Arab EmiratesUSD 10000
United KingdomUSD 18500
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Breast Cancer Treatment?

There are certain expenses additional to the Breast Cancer Treatment cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Breast Cancer Treatment Procedure?

The following are some of the best cities for Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa:

  1. Durban
  2. Johannesburg
  3. Cape Town
  4. Lenasia
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

The patient has to spend about 4 days in the hospital after Breast Cancer Treatment for proper recovery and to get clearance for discharge. The doctors team review the patient's recovery during this time with the help of blood tests and imaging scans. Once they feel that everything is on track, the patient is discharged.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Breast Cancer Treatment?

The average rating for Breast Cancer Treatment hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. 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 Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa. These hospitals have proper infrastructure for the treatment of patients who require kidney transplant. Apart from good services, the hospitals are known to follow all standard and legal guidelines as dictated by the local medical affairs body or organization.

Who are the best doctors for Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

Some of the most sought after medical specialists for Breast Cancer Treatment in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. Nirasha Chiranjan
  2. Dr. Ronelle De Villiers
  3. Dr. Koos Bouwer
  4. Dr. Bernard Donde
  5. Dr. Omondi Ogude
  6. Dr. Sudeshen Naidoo

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

South Africa has several top-quality hospitals, such as:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

The performance of these hospitals have been evaluated on the below parameters:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

Providing world-class treatment, the hospitals comply with strict healthcare laws and also adhere to medical protocols and international standards to ensure quality care. The hospitals are backed with state-of-art infrastructure, the latest medical equipment, and well-trained doctors and offer world-class facilities to enhance the patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

The hospitals in South Africa receive accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). COHSASA is responsible for developing and evaluating standards in all sectors and departments of a healthcare facility to ensure hospitals provide integrated and coordinated care. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. The accreditation bodies ensure that the hospitals are consistent in delivering quality care, so, initially, they grant accreditation to hospitals and clinics only for 2 years which gets extended if the quality is maintained.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

One of the leading medical tourism destinations, South Africa offers affordable healthcare and has superior infrastructure. South Africa has become the epicenter of medical tourism because of several other reasons like advanced technology, several facilities provided by hospitals, doctors trained abroad, and a large pool of accredited hospitals. In addition, South Africa’s liberal laws allow for the use of stem cells in medical practice, making it an invaluable destination for patients in need of advanced medical treatment. The hospitals in South Africa aim to destress your medical holiday by dealing with all of the organization and administrative tasks, as well as provide intensive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

The highly skilled and well-qualified doctors in South Africa ensure world-class treatment through their deep expertise and subject knowledge. Many doctors in South Africa receive their training in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba which provide them global exposure and make them more competent in handling cases with high precision and accuracy. The doctors deliver great results in dental procedures and fertility treatments and provide complete patient satisfaction through a holistic approach. There are several reasons why South Africa has a large pool of quality doctors, such as education at reputed colleges, compliance with global standards, using human touch in treatment, and adopting a patient-centric approach.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can get a medical visa to South Africa for 90 days. The High Commission of the country decides for how long a visa could be extended. Anyone willing to stay in the country for longer than 3 months needs to apply for a temporary residency permit. A visa becomes valid the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, an application for a visa is not be accepted more than 30 days before departure. Here is a list of documents that you will require for applying for a medical visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

Some popular procedures available in South Africa are hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs. Cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment are some of the other popular procedures in South Africa which have a high success rate. Egg donation program is available in South Africa and it is even possible to select your donor, as well as gives you the option of having a surgical or non-surgical procedure, all with very low waiting times. Low-cost treatment, fast recovery, use of advanced medical technology, and highly trained doctors are some of the reasons for the popularity of these procedures.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

The top-ranked cities that are most preferred by medical tourists in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town a major tourist attraction that has a rich culture, world-class doctors, and modern health facilities. Besides providing quality treatment, these cities are also known for having a better public transportation system, cheap hotels, and connectivity through airlines. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare industry coordinates with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists and the quality of medical care is on par with Great Britain.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, some vaccines are highly recommended or required for South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, yellow fever, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants of age 6 to 11 months should get a single dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before they travel to South Africa. It is always recommended that you get typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas of South Africa. It is best to refer to the travel advisory to know in detail about the required vaccines. You can also get in touch with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for more information on vaccination.

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