Breast Cancer Treatment in Turkey

Breast Cancer is an abnormal growth of breast cells, that can be felt as a lump or mass and termed as a tumor. These tumor cells can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous(benign). The cancer cells can spread to the breast, lymph nodes present in the armpits, or to other parts of the body. Breast cancer treatment and prognosis will mainly depend on its type, spread, stage, and health of the patient.

Breast Cancer treatment in Turkey

Surgery is usually the prime line of attack against breast cancer. Decisions about surgery depend on many factors like the stage of cancer. Breast cancer surgery is a fundamental component of breast cancer treatment that involves eliminating cancer with an operation. Breast cancer surgery may be used solely or in combination with other treatments, like chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy.

Breast cancer surgery procedures are surgery to remove the entire breast (mastectomy), surgery to remove a portion of the breast tissue (lumpectomy), surgery to remove nearby lymph nodes, and surgery to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy. Breast cancer surgery depends highly on the size and stage of cancer, and also other available treatment options. Types of reconstruction involved are breast reconstruction with flap surgery, breast reconstruction with implants, lumpectomy, mastectomy. The aim of breast cancer surgery is to eliminate cancer cells from the breast.

Best Hospitals in Turkey for Breast Cancer Treatment

  1. Medicana Ankara International Hospital 

  2. Liv Hospital Ulus 

  3. Avcilar Anadolu Hospital

  4. Memorial Sisli Hospital

  5. Medipol Mega University Hospital

Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in Turkey

There is a 74% success rate for this treatment in Turkey. In Turkey, the average cost of Breast Cancer Treatment starts from USD 3000, and in the United States, it ranges from 20,000 USD to 100,000 USD. The cost of treatment in India ranges from 7000 USD to 28,000 USD.

Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 4500

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

Which are the best hospitals in Turkey for Breast Cancer Surgery?
  1. Medicana Ankara International Hospital 

Widely admired as the best healthcare center in Turkey, the MAIH outrivals others in many oncology departments, including breast cancer. The physicians of the hospital are quite proficient in their field and, thus, offer a perfect diagnosis and prognosis for your disease. If you do need to undergo a surgical procedure for your purpose, then Dr. F. Yetisir can be your best option. 

  1. Liv Hospital Ulus 

Whether you believe it or not, but LIV Hospital is the only healthcare center in Istanbul that has accreditation on robotic surgery, colorectal operation, and bariatric procedure. Dr. M. Fayda of this hospice is considered to be one of the bests in the department. Hence, make sure to take his help for your cause. 

  1. Avcilar Anadolu Hospital

Located at the heart of the city of Istanbul, the Anadolu Hospital can be yet another excellent option for your purpose. It is one of those centers in Turkey that efficiently uses laparoscopic surgery to operate its patients. Dr. M. Cakmakci would be your ideal alternative in this respect. 

  1. Memorial Sisli Hospital

If you are looking for an affordable option, then Sisli Hospital can be an excellent option for your cause. There are several world-renowned doctors, such as Dr. A. Gocmen, who can potentially cure your condition. Hence, if you end up choosing this one over others, then don't worry. You will be in safe hands.  

  1. Medipol Mega University Hospital

Lastly, we are going to finish our list with one of the specialists in the department of breast cancer surgery, Medipol. It is one of those rare Turkish hospitals that use robotic surgery to take out its patients from the grasp of the deadly disease. So, if you are thinking about opting for this one, then make sure to choose Dr. S.S. Anak for your purpose.

What is the health care infrastructure of Turkey / Why should opt for Turkey as a destination for your medical treatment?
The healthcare infrastructure of Turkey comprises health centers, health posts, mother and child health and family planning centers, tuberculosis dispensaries, etc. Health centers are each staffed by a team consisting of a doctor, a nurse, a midwife, a health technician, and an administrator. Health posts report to health centers and are each staffed by a midwife. Health centers and health posts are the only settings providing preventive care, health promotion, and community-based health services. All other settings use specialists to provide just primary diagnostic and curative care. Turkey is turning out to be a preferred destination for medical treatment by many people across the world for its pace of development. The people are friendly and the administration is efficient. After the treatment in Turkey, one can even choose to unwind amidst its beauty.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Turkey? 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 a few JCI certified hospitals in Turkey :
  • Anadolu Medical Center
  • Hisar Intercontinental Hospital
  • Medipol Mega University Hospital
  • NP Istanbul Brain Hospital
  • Neolife Oncology Center
  • Liv Hospital
  • Medicana Healthcare Group
  • Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital
  • Istanbul Memorial Hospital
  • Memorial Antalya Hospital
  • Taksim Hospital
  • Dunyagoz Hospitals Group, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Medical Park Hospitals Group
  • Medical Park Göztepe Hospital Complex
  • Acibadem Maslak Hospital
  • German Hospital Taksim
  • Medical Park Bahçelievler Hospital
  • Göktürk Florence Nightingale Medical Center
  • International Hospital
  • Aydinlar Dental Group
Are the doctors/surgeons in Turkey of the best quality?
Doctors in Turkey are highly educated and well trained. This is one of the reasons why many people flock to Turkey for medical treatment. The doctors are skilled and can converse fluently in English and other foreign languages.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Turkey?
At present, there are two types of medical visas available for your visit to Turkey:
  1. Medical Visa, which can be obtained from the Consulate of Turkey
  2. Online Visa (eVisa), which can be obtained in advance of arrival via the government of Turkey’s online visa system.
Visitors must obtain a medical visa for traveling to Turkey unless they come from visa-exempt countries and territories or citizens of those countries, which are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online. How To Acquire Online Medical Visas (e-Visa or electronic visa) :
  1. Simply visit www.evisa.gov.tr and apply on the platform by selecting your country and the type of passport or identity card. The platform is self-explanatory and will guide you throughout every step.
  2. Once you are done filling the form, save and download the form for future references.
  3. The applicant must visit the nearby Turkish embassy in his/her country to get the approval of the Consulate.
  4. Once the visa is approved, the travel dates can be scheduled accordingly.
What support services does MediGence provide in Turkey?
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Turkey for medical treatment?
The capital of Turkey is Istanbul. Istanbul is easily accessible and the preferred location for medical treatment. Other cities with good hospitals are Izmit and Bursa.

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