Lung Cancer Treatment cost in South Africa

What is Lung Cancer?

Cancer is a medical condition or disease where the cells in the body show rapid and uncontrollable growth. 

Lung cancer is when cancerous cells in the lungs grow rapidly without any control. With time, it can spread to the nodes of lymph and other body parts.. Lung cancer may also occur if cancer spreads from other body parts to the lungs.

There are two types of lung cancer:  

  • Small cell cancer
  • Non-Small cell cancer

Both have different impacts and different methods for lung cancer treatment. Usually, Non-Small Cell cancer patients are higher and common than Small Cell cancer.

Who is the appropriate  candidate for the treatment?

 If you find any of the symptoms such as

  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough for a longer period of time

Then, you should definitely visit your doctor for the complete check-up. Also, it is very important that all of your other organs are working fine for successful lung cancer treatment.

Factors affecting the cost of Lung cancer treatment

Every cancer treatment has different procedures and costs for the treatment depending upon the type and place, but there are three major factors that affect the hospitalization cost of Lung cancer treatment of any patients, they are:

  • Stage of the cancer
  • The choice of the destination and hospital
  • The experience of the Oncologists involved
  • What type of the disease you have
  • Whether the cancer has spread in your body
  • The side effects the treatment may cause
  • Your age and general health
Treatment and Cost

45

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

40 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 25000

Hospitals

About the Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that start off in the lungs. Usually, lung cancer starts in the cells that line the air passages. Instead of developing into healthy lung tissue, the cells divide rapidly and form tumours.

Lung cancer can grow and spread beyond the lung to reach other parts of the body through metastasis. Lung cancers can begin in any part of the lung, but 90 percent of lung cancers begin in the epithelial cells, which are the cells lining the larger and smaller airways also known as bronchi and bronchioles.

This is the reason why lung cancers are sometimes called bronchogenic cancers or bronchogenic carcinomas. Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world, among both men and women. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

Lung Cancer: Causes and Risk Factors

Long-term smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. After smoking, genetic factors and exposure to radon gas, asbestos, second-hand smoke or other forms of air pollution can also increase the risk of lung cancer.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are two major types of lung cancers, based on the appearance of lung cancer cells under the microscope:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): It is an umbrella term for several types of lung cancers that behave in a similar way, such as squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): This type of lung cancer occurs mostly in heavy smokers and it is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. 

Lung Cancer Stages

It is necessary to determine the stage of lung cancer by finding out how far cancer has spread, before initiating treatment of lung cancer.
The following are the four lung cancer stages of NSCLC:

  • Stage 1 lung cancer: Cancer is restricted to the lung
  • Stage 2 lung cancer: Cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes
  • Stage 3 lung cancer: (3a) Cancer is in the lung and the lymph nodes located on the same side  (3b) Cancer is in the lung and has spread to lymph nodes on the opposite side
  • Stage 4 lung cancer: Cancer has spread to both the lungs and other organs and surrounding tissues

The following are the two lung cancer stages of SCLC:

  • Limited stage: Cancer is present in just one lung and lymph nodes on the same side of cancer.
  • Extensive stage: Cancer has spread throughout the lung or both the lungs, to the lymph nodes on the opposite side, to the bone marrow, and to the distant organs.

After the determination of stage, treatment of lung cancer starts with choosing the best suitable option for the patient. However, there is usually no single treatment for lung cancer. So the patient often receives a combination of therapies and palliative care. 

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer symptoms may vary, depending upon where and how widespread the tumour is. A person with lung cancer may have following lung cancer symptoms:

  • A persistent or chronic coughing
  • Pain in chest, shoulder or back
  • Difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness or change of voice
  • Chronic bronchitis, pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • Blood in the sputum and cough


Stage 3 lung cancer symptoms include the following:

  • Wheezing
  • General pain in the chest or when breathing
  • Persistent cough with or without blood
  • Altered voice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Fever, headache, weakness, and bone pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

How is Lung Cancer Treatment performed?

The treatment of lung cancer may include the following modalities:

Surgery:

Surgery is the best treatment if the lung cancer is in its early stages. In the early stages, it is possible to cure a patient completely by removing the tumor and the nearby lymph nodes. But after cancer has spread, it is nearly impossible to remove all of the cancer cells with the help of surgery.

There are some specific types of surgical procedures for different location and kinds of lung cancers, such as wedge resection of the lung (removal of a portion of one lobe), lobectomy (removal of one lobe), pneumonectomy (removal of an entire lung) and lymphadenectomy (removal of lymph nodes in the region of the lungs). After the surgery, margin tissues are further studied to see if cancer cells are present or not.

Lung cancer surgery is a major surgical procedure that requires hospitalization, general anesthesia, and follow-up care for a few weeks to several months. It also carries side effects like any other surgery, including complications related to bleeding, infection, and general anesthesia.

Radiation therapy:

This treatment uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy or shrink lung cancer tumors. Radiation therapy can be given as a curative therapy, palliative therapy, or as adjuvant therapy combined with surgery or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy damages the molecules that make up the cancer cells. However, it can damage the normal, healthy tissues. But nowadays improved technology can focus the radiation on precise locations for certain lengths of time, thus reducing the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.

Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer Treatment:

Chemotherapy is a strong medication treatment, which interferes with the cell division process and damage proteins or DNA to reduce cancer cells. NSCLC and SCLC, both types of lung cancers can be treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy might be given in the form of pills, intravenous infusion, or as a combination of both.

However, drugs used in chemotherapy also kill normally dividing cells in the body that may lead to unpleasant side effects. Some of the common side effects of chemotherapy are vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, hair loss, fatigue, anemia, infections and more. These side effects may be felt temporarily during treatment, and several drugs exist to help patients cope with the symptoms.

Targeted drug therapy:

Drugs used in this treatment work by targeting specific abnormalities in the cancer cells. Some of the drugs in this treatment can also strengthen the activity of the immune system against cancer cells. But mostly this treatment only works in people whose cancer cells show certain genetic mutations.

Recovery from Lung Cancer Treatment

  • Immediately after the surgery, you will be shifted to a recovery room until you wake up from the influence of anaesthesia. You will be monitored regularly as you stay in the recovery room for a few hours after the surgery.
  • If needed, you will be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) from the recovery room, where you will be connected to a ventilator. You will be transferred to a normal hospital room after your health stabilizes.
  • You will be required to stay in the hospital for up to a week after the surgery. Supportive care is a necessary part of cancer treatment. Palliative care is a specialty area of medicine that involves working with a doctor to minimize your signs and symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment. Palliative care can improve mood and quality of life.
  • A respiratory therapist will be assigned to you. He or she will guide you on how to use a spirometer and breathing exercises to recover from the surgery.
  • You are likely to have a drainage tube in place for a few days or until the surgeon feels that the drainage has stopped. You will be gradually asked to increase your activity to regain strength.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Lung Cancer Treatment cost in South Africa?

While depending upon a range of factors, the minimum cost for Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa is USD 25000. While there are wide range of hospitals offering Lung Cancer Treatment, international patients should always seek COHSASA-Certified Hospitals in South Africa for the best results.

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

Lung Cancer Treatment cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to the other. Some of the best hospitals for Lung Cancer Treatment offer a comprehensive package that covers the end-to-end expenses related to investigations and treatment of the patient. The comprehensive Lung Cancer Treatment package cost includes the cost of investigations, surgery, medicines and consumables. There are many things that may increase the cost of Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.

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

Many hospitals in South Africa perform Lung Cancer Treatment. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa include the following:

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

After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 45 days in the country for complete recovery. This is important to ensure that the surgery was successful. During this time, control and follow-up tests take place to check for medical fitness.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Lung Cancer Treatment?

While South Africa is considered to be one of the best destinations for Lung Cancer Treatment owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of such countries are:

CountryCost
GreeceUSD 25000
IndiaUSD 8500
IsraelUSD 20000
LebanonUSD 25000
MalaysiaUSD 13800
Saudi ArabiaUSD 25000
SingaporeUSD 25000
South AfricaUSD 25000
South KoreaUSD 25000
SpainUSD 32000
SwitzerlandUSD 25000
ThailandUSD 28000
TunisiaUSD 25000
TurkeyUSD 15000
United Arab EmiratesUSD 25000
United KingdomUSD 25000
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Lung Cancer Treatment?

Apart from the Lung Cancer Treatment cost, there are a few other daily charges that the patient may have to pay. These are the charges for daily meals and accommodation outside the hospital. The per day extra expenses in South Africa per person are about USD 50 per person.

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

There are many cities that offer Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa, including the following:

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

The patient is supposed to stay at the hospital for about 5 days after Lung Cancer Treatment for monitoring and care. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.

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

The average rating for Lung Cancer Treatment hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is calculated on the basis of different parameters such as attitude of the nurses, cleanliness, quality of food and the pricing policy.

How many hospitals offer Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa. These clinics 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 Lung Cancer Treatment in South Africa?

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

Some of the world-class multispecialty hospitals in South Africa are:

  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

Most of these hospitals have effectively met the below quality 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.

South Africa is known to have strict government regulations for controlling the quality of care provided by the government and private hospitals. The patient-centric hospitals are equipped with superior infrastructure, high-tech medical equipment, and highly trained and qualified doctors, providing a unique patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) are two healthcare accreditation bodies in South Africa. 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. SafeCare program has been introduced by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation to use internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Hospitals and clinics that initially and meet standards are awarded two-year accreditations and as the journey in excellence continues, awards of longer duration are given.

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. Medical tourists prefer South Africa for treatment due to many other reasons like world-class facilities provided by hospitals, advanced technology, global exposure of doctors, and accredited hospitals. South Africa has also liberal laws for the application of stem cells in medical practice, making the country a leading destination for patients who need advanced medical treatment. The hospitals in South Africa strive to take the stress out of your medical holiday by helping you with all kinds of organization and administrative tasks, as well as provide all-inclusive 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. Doctors in South Africa are known for their deep expertise in dental procedures and fertility treatments. The high quality of doctors in the country is attributed to factors like their patient-centric approach, incorporation of the human touch in treatment, education at reputed colleges, and adherence to global standards.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can stay in South Africa for a period of 90 days under a medical visa. The extension of the stay period is decided by the High Commission.. 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. Make sure you have the below-listed documents while 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?

South Africa is known to offer some procedures with high success rates, such as total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Some other procedures which have gained popularity in South Africa are cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Fertility treatment through egg donation has seen a high success rate in South Africa wherein a person can opt for a surgical or non-surgical procedure, with quite 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?

Some popular cities of South Africa that attract a huge number of medical tourists every year are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is the medical tourism hub visited by a large number of people from different ethnicity and cultures due to world-class doctors and state-of-the-art hospitals. Besides providing quality treatment, these cities are also known for having a better public transportation system, cheap hotels, and connectivity through airlines. Johannesburg’s healthcare system is on par with Great Britain and the city’s public and private healthcare industry works closely with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists.

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

Yes, you need to get vaccinated before travelling to South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre have suggested the following vaccinations: Yellow fever, hepatitis A, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants of 6 to 11 months old are at greater risk of contracting measles, so they must get MMR vaccine before travelling to South Africa. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for most travellers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas. Vaccination guidelines change with time, so keep yourself updated with the travel advisory released by the government. You can also check with doctors or hospitals in South Africa for the required vaccines.