Oral cancer Treatment cost in South Africa

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer, also known as Mouth Cancer, is when cancer starts developing in the tissues of the mouth or even the throat. Oral cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, such as: 

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Cheeks
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Gums

This kind of cancer is largely common in people who are addicted to any kind of tobacco. The solution for the survival of oral cancer is early detection and immediate treatment. Oral Cancer Treatment should be started as soon as the doctors find any positive sign of cancer in the patient. 

Symptoms of Oral cancer

Mentioned below are the symptoms of the oral cancer:

  • Mouth sores that don’t heal 
  • Continuous pain in the mouth
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty in swallowing and chewing
  • Growth of white, red, or dotted (white and red) spots in the mouth

If you feel anything like that then you should go for a check-up to your local physician. . The patient should go to the doctors as soon as they see any signs of mouth cancer.

Factors affecting the cost of Oral cancer Treatment

It's a serious condition and it takes time and money to get over it. As there are many but the factors that most affect the oral cancer treatment cost is:

  • Lack of Medicare
  • Smoking Habit
  • Late Clinical Stage
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

16 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 8250

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 much does Oral cancer Treatment cost in South Africa?

While depending upon a range of factors, the minimum cost for Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa is USD 8250. Many multispeciality hospitals which are COHSASA certified are approved to operate a Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa

What are the factors affecting the cost of Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa?

The cost of Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa may differ from one medical facility to the other. The Oral cancer Treatment package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. Typically, the package cost of Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa includes the expenses related to the surgeon's fee, anesthesia, hospital, meals, nursing and ICU stay. Post-surgical complications, new findings and delayed recovery may have an impact on the total Oral cancer Treatment cost in South Africa.

Which are some of the best hospitals in South Africa for Oral cancer Treatmentt?

Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa is offered by multiple hospitals across the country. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa include the following:

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

After Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 21 days. This period is important to conduct all the follow-up tests to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient can go back to the home country.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Oral cancer Treatment?

South Africa is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Oral cancer Treatment in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of the other destinations that are popular for Oral cancer Treatment include the following:

CountryCost
GreeceUSD 8250
IndiaUSD 5000
IsraelUSD 15000
LebanonUSD 8250
MalaysiaUSD 17000
Saudi ArabiaUSD 8250
SingaporeUSD 8250
South AfricaUSD 8250
South KoreaUSD 8250
ThailandUSD 9500
TunisiaUSD 8250
TurkeyUSD 7000
United Arab EmiratesUSD 9000
United KingdomUSD 8250
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Oral cancer Treatment?

There are certain expenses additional to the Oral cancer Treatment cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Oral cancer Treatment Procedure?

Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa is offered in almost all metropolitan cities, including the following:

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

After Oral cancer Treatment, the patient is supposed to stay for about 5 days in the hospital for recovery and monitoring. The doctors team review the patient's recovery during this time with the help of blood tests and imaging scans. Once they feel that everything is on track, the patient is discharged.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Oral cancer Treatment?

The average rating for Oral cancer Treatment hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is automatically calculated on the basis of several parameters such as the infrastructure of the hospital, quality of services, nursing support and other services.

How many hospitals offer Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa. These clinics have propoer infrastructure as well as offer good quality of services when it comes to Oral cancer Treatment Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.

Who are the best doctors for Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa?

Some of the renowned medical specialists for Oral cancer Treatment in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. Nirasha Chiranjan
  2. Dr. Ronelle De Villiers
  3. Dr. Koos Bouwer
  4. Dr. Bernard Donde
  5. Dr. Omondi Ogude
  6. Dr. Sudeshen Naidoo

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

South Africa is one of the leading medical tourism destinations with top hospitals, such as:

  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

Below are some of the parameters which reflect the quality of these hospitals:

  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.

The hospitals are bound to provide quality treatment as the government of South Africa has framed strict healthcare rules to ensure there is no quality lapse. Supported by state-of-art infrastructure, advanced medical equipment, and highly qualified doctors, the hospitals offer various facilities to improve the patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

The healthcare system in South Africa is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). COHSASA develops and evaluates standards in all areas and departments of a healthcare facility in order to make sure that integrated and coordinated care is provided. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of 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. In addition, South Africa’s liberal laws allow for the use of stem cells in medical practice, making it an invaluable destination for patients in need of advanced medical treatment. The hospitals in South Africa aim to destress your medical holiday by dealing with all of the organization and administrative tasks, as well as provide intensive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

The doctors in South Africa strive to provide quality treatment utilizing their deep subject knowledge and hands-on experience in handling various complex cases. Most of the doctors in South Africa are trained in foreign countries like Cuba and Australia which orientate them towards quality health care. Using a holistic approach, doctors have received worldwide recognition for delivering excellent results in dental procedures and fertility treatments. South Africa has world-class doctors due to several reasons like their education at reputed colleges, adherence to global standards, patient-centric approach, and incorporation of the human touch in treatment.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can avail a medical visa to South Africa and stay in the country for 90 days to seek treatment. Further extension of the duration of the stay is decided by the High Commission of the country where the patient belongs from. 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. Below documents are required for 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?

The most sought-after procedures in South Africa are total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment are some of the other popular procedures in South Africa which have a high success rate. 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. People select South Africa to avail these procedures due to several reasons, such as world-class hospitals with superior infrastructure and highly-skilled doctors, fast recovery, and use of cutting-edge medical technology.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

Top destinations for medical tourism in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town a major tourist attraction that has a rich culture, world-class doctors, and modern health facilities. Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, cheap accommodation options, 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, some vaccines are highly recommended or required for South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, yellow fever, 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. It is always recommended that you get typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas of South Africa. 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.

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