Lung Cancer Treatment in Tunisia

Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 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

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.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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