Oral cancer Treatment cost in India

Cancer that develops in the parts of the mouth is called mouth or oral cancer in medical terms. Oral cancer can occur on the tongue, lips, gums, roof, and floor of the mouth and lining of the cheeks. Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is called oral cavity cancer. Grouped in the category of head and neck cancer, oral cancer itself is of several types like Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Lymphomas among other less common types like Sarcomas. It usually occurs because of smoking, chewing tobacco, family history, genetic issues, and another uncommon phenomenon.

Oral cancer treatment in India

India is known worldwide for its advanced medical treatment and research facilities, including its low cost and high-quality mouth cancer treatment facility, across the major cities. Oral cancer treatment in India costs less when compared to other countries and significantly less when compared to developed countries like the USA, UK, Germany, etc. In India, various medical processes are used to treat oral cancer. From radiation to chemotherapy and surgery along with targeted therapy. For the early stages of oral cancer, radiation is used mostly and to increase its effectiveness, chemotherapy is used as well. For later stages, where the cancer cells have grown bigger, surgery is deployed to extract the cancer cells.

Cost comparison

Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

16 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 5000

Hospitals

About the Oral cancer Treatment

Oral cancer, commonly referred to as mouth cancer or throat cancer, is an uncontrollable growth of cells in the oral cavity. It refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. It can include cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, pharynx (throat), hard and soft palate and either of the sinuses. Mouth and oropharyngeal cancer can be life-threatening, but it could be prevented if the cancer is diagnosed early enough.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a result of a mutation in the DNA of the cells in the mouth. There are certain identified risk factors for mouth cancer that predisposes a person to oral cancer.

Some of the oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking: Smoking tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, and pipes) contains nitrosamines and other chemicals that are known to cause cancer. People who are exposed to passive smoking also experience a small increase in their risk of oral cancer.  
  • Chewing tobacco: Use of any type of tobacco is one of the main reasons behind oral cancer. Chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes. It is a popular habit in parts of Asia and in some immigrant groups in Europe, North America, and Australia. The harmful substances in tobacco and betel can cause oral cancer.
  • Alcohol consumption: Drinking excessive alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Using tobacco and alcohol both pose a much greater risk than using either of the substance alone.
  • Poor diet: Lack of vitamins and minerals, such as iron or folic acid in the diet, can lead to a breakdown in the oral mucosa and this can make people more prone to oral cancer. People should eat plenty of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to decrease the risk of oral cancer. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and other substances that help prevent damage to body cells.
  • A family history of disease: There is a slightly higher risk of getting oral cancer in people who have a close relative who once had oral cancer.
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): HPV can contribute to some types of cancers, but it does not mean that people get these cancers like an infection. HPV can be passed on to another individual during a sexual contact, but for a majority of people, the virus is harmless and does not cause any trouble. Only a very small percentage of people with HPV end up developing oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

There are some typical signs of mouth cancer that a majority of patients experience. Make sure to visit your doctor or dentist in case you experience any of the following signs of mouth cancer:

  • Pain and discomfort in the mouth: Ongoing pain or discomfort from a long time in the mouth is the one of the most symptoms.
  • Ulcers and sore: Bleeding ulcer or sore, which is not healing for more than two weeks can be a symptom of oral cancer.
  • Unexplained bleeding: Unexplained bleeding in the mouth can be an alarming indication of oral cancer.
  • Numbness and lost sensation: Numbness, loss of feeling or tenderness in any area of the mouth, or neck can be a symptom.
  • White or red patches: Any abnormal looking patches in the mouth or throat could be a sign of cancer or precancerous changes. Although, a fungal infection called thrush can also be the reason for white or red patches.
  • Difficulty in swallowing: You may feel difficulty in chewing and swallowing and feel like your food is sticking in your throat. Feeling difficulty in speaking or moving the jaw and tongue can be one of the most important throat cancer symptoms.
  • Weight loss: Dramatic weight loss without any reason can also be a symptom.

How is Oral cancer Treatment performed?

Oral cancer treatment is similar to that for other types of cancers. You may have to go for just one type of treatment or a combination of different cancer treatment options. Your doctor will suggest you the most suitable treatment depending on the location of cancer, its stage, and your overall health status.

Some of the common treatment options for oral cancer include:

  • Surgery: It is one of the primary treatment options for mouth cancer. Your specialist may cut away the tumor and a margin of the healthy tissue that surrounds it to ensure all of the cancer cells have been removed. In some cases, the patient may have to undergo a neck dissection surgery, if the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. Depending on the exact location of cancer in the oral cavity, the following surgeries may be performed:
  1. Mandibular resection surgery (partial or full thickness)
  2. Maxillectomy (full or partial)
  3. Mohs' surgery for lips
  4. Glossectomy (partial or total)
  5. Laryngectomy
  • Radiation therapy: In radiation therapy, a high-energy beam, such as X-rays and protons, are used to kill cancer cells. It comes with some side effects.
  • Chemotherapy: It is a drug treatment used to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be given alone or in combination with other cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is best suitable in cases where cancer has spread to other locations as well.
  • Alternative medicine: This treatment may help cope with oral cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment, but it cannot be used to treat oral cancer alone.

Recovery from Oral cancer Treatment

  • A majority of patients who undergo oral cancer treatment are able to recover quickly. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of the patients survive after timely treatment and if the cancer is diagnosed in its early stage. You may expect doctors to ask you to visit their clinic regularly even after your treatment. Your progress will be closely monitored and accordingly, the doctor will decide if any follow up procedure is required.
  • Recovery after oral cancer treatment depends on what type of procedures you were subjected to. If you’ve had a surgery, you are most likely to have a drip in your arm that feeds you fluids until you are able to eat by yourself. Additionally, you are likely to have a wound drain and a catheter in place to collect and measure urine. If you’ve had a tracheotomy, you will have a breathing tube in your neck.
  • Talking after the surgery is often challenging after the treatment for oral cancer. This may sometimes prove frustrating. Therefore, it is important to have someone nearby to take care of things for you and understand what you may need to communicate. It is normal to experience pain for a few days after the surgery. You may be administered painkillers after the surgery through an epidural.
  • The stitches are usually removed after 10 days of the surgery. The drain tube is removed three to seven days after the procedure. You will be given a detailed plan by a dietician, which outlines the things you should drink and eat after the removal of the feeding tube. You may be put on a liquid or soft diet for several days initially.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

How is mouth cancer diagnosed?

In case of any suspicion of cancer, the patient is subjected to necessary laboratory testing in order to monitor the status of cancer, as well as, to monitor any sign of metastasis. 

  • Biopsy: A small cell sample or tissue sample is taken to test the malignancy of the affected area.

  • X-ray: Mild radiation is used to detect any sign of metastasis in the bone, i.e., whether the associated bones have been affected or not.

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound examination of the neck is very common in these cases. It provides a visual image of the internal structures on a computer screen, thereby assisting the doctors to locate the extent of damage and perform further tests.

  • MRI scan: Special magnetic resonance is used to obtain images of the internal structures and organs.

  • FNA: Known as Fine Needle Aspiration, the procedure involves the insertion of a fine needle into the suspected or affected lymph node for the extraction of fluids and cells for cancer testing.

  • CT scan: Computerized Tomography creates a series of 3-D images with the help of hold radiation. The candidate may or may not be administered with an injection before the scan.

What are the methods of mouth cancer treatments in India?

Oral cancer treatments in India may include moderate to extensive procedures depending on the type and extent of the damage. The type of treatment required also determines the mouth cancer treatment cost in India.

  • Radiation Therapy: This is subdivided into external and internal therapies depending on the mode of administration. Where the former involves focusing a high-energy radiation beam on the affected area, the latter uses specific radiation metals or substances that travels to the affected region and destroys the cells internally.

  • Chemotherapy: Specific drugs are administered in the form of injections or consumable pills which kills the cancerous cells. In this, healthy cells might also get affected but shall recover over a period of time. 

  • Targeted Therapy: This procedure is used to treat the causative agents that result in malignancy and is very specific. Combined with other therapies, this can help in the prevention of future recurrence. 

  • Surgery: Surgical procedure is adopted for the complete removal of the cancerous cells. This includes removal of healthy cells encircling the affected region as well, in order to prevent any chances of further spreading or recurring. In case it spreads to lymph nodes, the surgeon may also remove the affected node, which will not cause any harm to the body. Oral surgery in extreme cases may be followed by reconstructive surgeries as well.
What is the average cost of Mouth Cancer Treatment in India (based on different approaches)?

Oral cancer treatment costs in India averages around USD$7000. India is enriched with several government hospitals as well as charitable organizations that offer free and uncompromised treatments to patients from all over the world. However, for candidates on the lookout for treatments in reputed private hospitals, the treatments may begin from $280 per session for chemotherapy. 

In general, the overall oral cancer treatment cost in India is estimated to be around $5000 approximately. In case the patient requires targeted therapy along with chemotherapy and surgery, the mouth cancer treatment cost in India may rise above $6000.

What are the factors affecting the cost of Mouth Cancer Treatment in India?

Mouth cancer treatment cost in India varies as per the type of cancer diagnosed. Mouth cancer can affect any region inside the mouth, which determines the extent of treatment the candidate requires. 

  • If cancer spreads to the brain, or lymph nodes, more extensive measures need to be taken, which directly affects the cost of treatment. 

  • In the case of surgical procedures undertaken, the candidate might need to undergo reconstructive procedures to completely get back to normal life.

  • The number of laboratory tests required also becomes a deciding factor for oral cancer treatment costs in India.

Which are the best hospitals for oral cancer treatment in India?

Although mouth cancer treatment cost in India is highly affordable, the medical facilities provided to the candidates remain unparalleled. The availability of advanced cutting-edge technology in multispecialty healthcare systems guarantees enhanced accuracy. This also caters to the increased success rates every year. Apart from that, the presence of renowned oncologists, specialists, radiologists and surgeons also sum up for best treatment facilities in the entire world. Thus, here are some of the best hospitals for oral cancer treatment in India:

  • Apollo Indraprastha, New Delhi

  • HCG Hospital, Bangalore

  • Fortis Malar, Chennai

  • Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon

What is the success rate of mouth cancer treatment in India?

The success rate of mouth cancer treatment in India depends on the stage at which it is diagnosed. Early detection during the initial stages guarantees the complete cure of cancer thereby helping the candidate to continue normal life henceforth. In most cases, success rates of oral cancer treatment vary from 50% to 53% for short-term ( or 5-year) survival. However, in progressive stages, complete curing becomes difficult.

Who are the top cancer surgeons in India for oral cancer treatment?

India has a list of globally-acclaimed oncologists who have excelled in critical cases of all times. Though cancer treatment is advancing every day and is still dreaded, proficient surgeons have been able to provide a complete cure and a healthy life in many cases. The surgeons are crowned with decades of experience and a competent approach which helps in providing high success rates every year. 

  • Dr. Surendra Kumar Dabas

  • Dr. Girish Anand

  • Dr. Biswajyoti Hazarika

  • Dr. Tapaswini Pradhan

  • Dr. Tejinder Singh

FAQ's Related to India

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in India?

Accreditation to healthcare providers is given by two bodies in India. The first one is National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers has been recognised as one of these standards. Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH). National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers is a much vied for accreditation standard by healthcare providers. Joint Commission International, a not for profit organization giving certification to numerous healthcare institutions in India and abroad is the other standard.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in India?

Indian multispecialty hospitals offer world class medical treatment at affordable cost. These hospitals can do all kinds of surgeries and they have several specialties. These wonderful hospitals incorporate even the general medical needs of patients. The hospitals that are providing the best treatment in India are:

  1. BLK Super Specialty, Delhi
  2. Medanta Medicity Hospital, Gurgaon,
  3. Apollo Hospital, Delhi
  4. Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
  5. Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
  6. Fortis Hospital, Noida
Why should I opt for healthcare in India?

Affordable healthcare and superior infrastructure are the main reasons for the popularity of India in the medical tourism sector. The high end technologies that are at par with the western world and indian hospitals' overall health standards are equivalent to the western world. Indian pool of qualified doctors are highly professional, extremely competent and provide treatment with precision and accuracy. Some of the other important factors that contribute to making India one of the most favored destinations for medical tourism are ease of travel, ease of communication, availability of alternative treatment, and visa assistance.

How is the quality of doctors in India?

Skill and application of that skill with precision ensures that Indian doctors are considered proficient in their work. No matter what new healthcare challenges are present before them, the doctors in India face and overcome them with a lot of confidence. The doctors in India have been educated at premier educational institutions across the world. There is a personal touch that Indian doctors and surgeons provide you with and the best of medical care.

When traveling to India for medical treatment, what essential documents do I need to carry along?

As a medical traveler, you begin your travel journey with packing. When traveling to India for your treatment, you need to carry travel documents, medical documents and get your finances ready. The required documents are outlined here:

  1. Letter from the hospital indicating duration and purpose of treatment
  2. Medical reports,
  3. Passport,
  4. Tourist Visa Category MT,
  5. To and Fro flight tickets,
  6. Recent bank statement (incase of family bank statement proof of relationship).
What are the popular procedures available in India?

We bring to you the popular procedures being routinely accomplished in India:

  1. Valvular Heart Surgery
  2. Knee Replacement Surgery
  3. Bone Marrow Transplant
  4. Lung Transplant
  5. Thoracic Surgery
  6. LVAD Implantation
  7. Meniscus Repair Surgery
  8. CT Coronary Angiogram
  9. Hand Surgery
  10. Heart Blockage Treatment
  11. Hip Resurfacing Surgery
  12. Interventional Cardiography,
  13. Angioplasty
  14. Cochlear Implant
  15. Pacemaker Implantation
  16. Robotic Heart Surgery
  17. Coronary Heart Disease Treatment
  18. Coronary Angioplasty
  19. Bariatric Surgery
  20. Chemotherapy
  21. Ankle Replacement
  22. Kidney Transplant

The popular procedures performed in India are upgraded regularly with the increasing advancements in the medical and surgical fields. The good quality of doctors who are providing treatment and performing surgeries at economical prices has led to the growth in procedures like heart surgeries, orthopaedic procedures, organ transplants and in treatment of cancer in India. A strength that aids the growth in the number of popular procedures available in India is the abundance of good hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to India?

Any international travel requires vaccinations and up-to-date immunizations. Even those medical tourists coming to India must get it done. If you are looking for complete information on vaccination guidelines then either your hospital or the travel advisory issued by the Government of India is the right source. Your India visit would be safer if you have vaccinated yourself with hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Covid, typhoid fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, DPT, measles, yellow fever medicines.

What are the other facilities provided by hospitals?

The comfort and safety provided by Indian hospitals is unmatched among all medical tourism destinations. In India, the hospitals have seamlessly functioning international patient care centers that provide all kinds of assistance to medical tourists. The needs and requirements of you or your family members are met by the hospitals which makes your stay comfortable. Some of the facilities available at hospitals in India are room reservation, visa assistance, embassy assistance, hotel services/apartment bookings, language interpretation services, tele-consults, and pre departure evaluation.

What are the major medical tourism destinations in India?

Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are the leading medical tourism destinations in India. The excellent medical services on par with many developed countries make India a hub for medical tourism. Owing to the availability of exceptional medical facilities, the patient care and all round medical care at affordable prices have made India an attraction for tourists. Medical tourism sector in India is growing well also owing to the heavy promotion by the Government of India in collaboration with the private players in the sector.

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