Breast Cancer Treatment in Tunisia

Breast cancer treatment should be availed by every patient who has been diagnosed with the malignancy. Out of all the forms of cancers, breast cancer treatment has one of the highest success rates, provided timely diagnosis takes place and the patient is treated immediately.

Typically, breast cancer treatment includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy for curative treatment. The sequence of the treatment and which treatment modality to use depends on the clinical status of the patient and the initial findings.

Factors affecting the cost of Breast Cancer Surgery

The following factors affect breast cancer surgery cost:

  • Type of surgery conducted – mastectomy, breast conservative surgery or lumpectomy
  • Whether chemotherapy is planned before or after surgery
  • Is radiotherapy planned as well and the number of sessions
  • Stage and grade of cancer
  • Type of breast cancer
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital charges
  • ICU charges
  • Duration of hospital stay
  • Medicines and consumables
  • Histopathology assessment
  • Pre-surgical investigations
  • Cost of reconstruction after breast removal

When is Breast Cancer Treatment required?

Breast cancer treatment is required for all patients who have been diagnosed with malignancy. Some of the initial signs and symptoms that may trigger a patient to get checked for breast cancer include changes in breast appearance, shape, and contour, a lump in the breast or abnormal discharge from the nipples.

Different treatment approaches are used for the treatment of Stage I, Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV breast cancer patients. A surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy are some of the common treatment approaches used for the management of patients who have been diagnosed with one or the other form of breast 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 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 Tunisia / Why should opt for Tunisia as a destination for your medical treatment?
Hospitals in Tunisia are developing and trying to meet the international standards of healthcare. Although there is a basic set up in most of the hospitals for treatment in Tunisia, one can still expect scope for improvement. The Ministry of Health, along with the Government of Tunisia is making effective changes for the healthcare sector. The private hospitals in Tunisia are also undergoing a robust change to provide effective healthcare and treatment in Tunisia.

Like most other countries, hospitals in Tunisia have a private and public healthcare system. Hospitals in Tunisia include three levels of care: primary, with a network of 81 clinics and 2091 basic health centers; secondary, with 109 district hospitals; and tertiary, with 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern CHUs, according to MoS figures.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Tunisia? 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.
In Tunisia, there are no JCI accredited hospitals but 4 private hospitals are certified ISO and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Are the doctors/surgeons in Tunisia of the best quality?
The hospitals in Tunisia have seen a constant change in terms of development and technology. Most doctors that are trained in the country understand the needs and requirements of people and are able to diagnose and treat them well. There are various surgeons that fly in from other countries as well to treat patients. This was brought about due to the economic reforms and various expats residing there. The varying levels of health organizations provide reasonable means of treatment for any patient. There are also trained paramedical and emergency service staff in this country.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Tunisia?
Patients who wish to visit Tunisia for medical purposes must contact the Embassy of Tunisia in their home country. One is required to have a valid passport. Those applicants must submit their visa application forms in person together with the following documents:
  1. A duly completed application form with one picture (within a white background).
  2. Original biometric passport and one copy. Passports should have a validity of at least one year from the date of your visa application submission.
  3. Medical certificate stating the type of illness and the treatment to be carried out. This document has to be in English or Spanish language.
  4. Letter from the hospital in Tunisia stating the appointment date and whether the treatment expenses have been already paid in full.
  5. Proof of financial means which enable the applicant to meet life needs while in Tunisia (salary certificate if working, bank statement for the last six months, property deeds, commercial license, other sorts of income).
  6. Travel insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  8. Applicants are advised that ALL PASSPORTS HAVE TO REMAIN at the Embassy premises while the visa application is under process (between 10 and 15 days), and therefore cannot be retrieved unless very special and urgent circumstances might arise.
  9. The Embassy has the right to require from the applicant any document that it may deem relevant in order to resolve the visa file.
What support services does MediGence provide in Tunisia?
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 Tunisia for medical treatment?
Tunis is the largest country and capital of Tunisia. This country is located in the northern region of Africa and is the best city for treatment in Tunisia.

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