Prostate Cancer Treatment cost in Singapore

Prostate cancer is the development of cancerous cells in the prostate gland. Prostrate is a small gland present in the reproductive system in men and helps in making and storing seminal fluids. This cancer is most common in men over 50 years of age. Prostate cancer is mostly asymptomatic in the early stage.

Prostate cancer treatment in Singapore

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the prostate, a gland that produces the seminal fluid. One of the most common types of cancer in men, prostate cancer is normally confined to the prostate gland, which is why it can be diagnosed and treated early. While sometimes the cancer cells are limited to the prostate gland only, sometimes the cells can be aggressive and spread to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer usually occurs with men above 50 years of age, with clear symptoms. Also, those with a family history of prostate cancer have a high risk of developing the same. While many countries are known for providing quality treatments for cancer patients, Singapore is one nation that emerges out to be the best in terms of technology and cost-effectiveness. A prostate cancer treatment in Singapore is what people from across the globe travel for, to avail quality diagnosis and care. The country has been developing in all possible aspects, medical care being on the top. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, internationally certified doctors, and quality care, Singapore has become a prominent medical tourism destination in the present times. Cost comparison Treating cancer is an expensive procedure, with a couple of sessions for chemotherapy, excessive medications, and regular checkups. Therefore, there are a variety of factors that determine the cost of treating prostate cancer such as:

  • Age and weight of the patient
  • The type of prostate cancer diagnosed with
  • Stage of cancer
  • Previous medical history of the patient
  • Type of procedure
  • Technology used

Talking about the average cost of prostate cancer in Singapore, here are the additional factors that affect it:

  • Type of medical center
  • Expertise and experience of the surgeon
  • Incidental costs (in the case or surgical complications)
  • Duration of stay at the hospital
  • Accommodation, food, and travel

Cost Comparison

Depending on the above-stated factors, the average cost of prostate cancer treatment in Singapore is much lower than the other developed nations. The below table compares the costs of this treatment across various geographies:

COUNTRY COST
USA $5500
Australia $11000
Singapore $5000
Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

4 Day in Hospital

17 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 28500

Hospitals

About the Prostate Cancer Treatment

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system, which makes fluid that forms an essential part of the semen. Prostate cancer starts when cells of the prostate glands begin to grow abnormally

Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancers in men above the age of 60. In most of the cases, it is slow growing and may even go undetected and do not cause any problem. However, in some cases, it could be aggressive and cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body (metastatic prostate cancer)

Prostate cancer is a very slow growing disease and starts with tiny alterations in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells. The prostate cancer risk increases with age and it is rarely observed before the age of 40. That is the main reason why many men die of old age, without ever knowing that they had prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Causes

There is no direct prostate cancer causes. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer, including the following:

  • Consumption of diet rich in red meat and high fat dairy products
  • Less consumption of vegetables and fruits
  • Obesity
  • Family history of the disease
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Sexually transmitted infections

Types of Prostate Cancer

Usually, prostate cancer means the cancer of prostate gland cells called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Almost all the prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, but there are some other types of prostate cancer as well, including the following:

  • Sarcomas
  • Small-cell carcinomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (other than small cell carcinomas)
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

Prostate Cancer Classification

Based on how abnormal the patterns of cancer cells look, prostate cancers are classified as:

  • Low-grade PIN: In this, the pattern of prostate cells appears almost normal
  • High-grade PIN: In this, the pattern of cells looks a bit abnormal

Signs of Prostate Cancer

There are no warning signs of prostate cancer. The symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer usually appear first in the region that the cancer cells have invaded.

After cancer causes the prostate gland to swell, the following signs of prostate cancer may be experienced: 

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting or stopping the stream of urine
  • Weak urine stream and inability to urinate
  • Pain and burning sensation during urination and ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen

In prostate cancer stages, the following symptoms may also be there:

  • Pain in spine, pelvis or ribs
  • Leg weakness
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence

How is Prostate Cancer Treatment performed?

Treatment for prostate cancer can be divided into early stage and advanced stage. Your doctor will choose the best suitable treatment for you, depending on the stage and classification of prostate cancer, your age, and overall health status. Although, your feelings, expected lifespan, and your opinion will play a major role in choosing the right kind of treatment.

The most common treatment options for prostate cancer include the following:

Watchful waiting or active surveillance

No immediate treatment is carried out, but the patient is followed up at regular intervals to see the progression of the disease. This method is used in elderly patients with short life expectancy and in case of an early disease.

Surgery

The main type of prostate surgery is called radical prostatectomy. In this, cancerous tissues are removed by a surgical operation. A long cut in the abdomen is needed in this surgery, depending on the extent and stage of cancer.

However, a keyhole surgery for prostate cancer using a laparoscope or robot is also available. These treatments have good success rates but may result in certain long-term side effects such as sexual dysfunction, narrowing of the urethra, and urinary incontinence.

Radiotherapy

High-intensity beams are used in this treatment to destroy the cancer cells in the prostate. Radiotherapy can be administered via needles implanted into the prostate, under ultrasound guidance or as an external beam. Radiotherapy can be used after surgery if the resection of cancer tissue has not been completed.

There are two types of radiotherapy for prostate cancer:

Conformal radiotherapy

In this, the radiation beams are shaped so that the region where they overlap is as close to the same shape as the organ that requires treatment. It minimizes healthy tissue exposure to radiation.

Intensity-modulated radiotherapy:

In this, the beams with variable intensity are used. It is an advanced form of conformal radiotherapy. It is usually delivered with the help of a computer-controlled linear accelerator.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy involves the use of medications that suppress testosterone levels. They are used as primary treatment and in advanced cases or Stage 4 prostate cancer.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a kind of advance drug treatment in which strong medications are used to kill the cancer cells and prevent it from spreading. It is used when the prostate cancer is not controlled by hormonal treatment. Chemotherapy is selected only for treatment of Stage 4 prostate cancer and when the patient can cope with it.

Cryotherapy

This treatment uses extremely cold temperatures to freeze and destroy cancer tissues in the prostate. Cryotherapy is the best option for treating recurrent prostate cancer, especially if initial radiation therapy did not kill enough cancer cells. The surgeon inserts an ultra-thin metal probe or needle into the prostate gland, from which a freezing liquid, such as liquid nitrogen or more commonly, argon gas, is infused into the prostate gland.  

Other local ablation

Some treatments such as radiofrequency and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) are used to treat early prostate cancer or when the patient is not fit for a major surgery.

Recovery from Prostate Cancer Treatment

  • Patients may suffer from some immediate and long-term side effects after the treatment. However, they may expect the doctor to guide them on how to control and manage the side effects.
  • Recovery after prostate cancer treatment takes time. You may expect yourself to go for regular follow up visits with the doctor, who will check on your progress and any signs of cancer coming back. You may have to follow a strict diet and avoid certain physical activities for a speedy recovery.
  • Additionally, a dietician will share a plan with you at the time of discharge. You should try to stick to the plan and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure that the recovery time after treatment is minimal.
  • If you’ve had a prostate surgery, you will have a catheter in place to drain urine for a day or two. Hospital discharge takes place after about two days after the surgery. Most of the patients are able to return to their normal routine in about two weeks’ time.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of prostate cancer?

It has still not been inferred as to what exactly causes prostate cancer. But researchers underline a few risk factors that are closely associated with this type of cancer. Prostate cancer is caused by some changes in the genetic blueprint of the prostate cells, which can be inherited or acquired.

  • Inherited gene mutations are also known as hereditary cancer, in which the mutations let the abnormal prostate cells live longer than required, thus increasing the risk of cancer becoming metastatic.

  • Acquired gene mutations are, however, acquired when a cell divides into two parts. When this division isn’t proper, then the defective cell is left in the DNA. Hormones such as testosterone promote cell growth, which is a huge factor in causing the cancer cells to grow and multiply quickly.

Also, inflammation in the prostate is one of the causes of prostate cancer. An inflammation damages the cell DNA, which means that there are high chances for the normal cell to turn into a cancer cell.

What is the average cost of prostate cancer treatment in Singapore?

The treatment of prostate cancer depends on a variety of factors. When we consider surgery as an option for treating prostate cancer, the following factors determine its cost:

  • The type and location of the incision

  • Technology used

  • The procedure used to conduct the surgery

Based on these three factors, the average cost of prostatectomy in Singapore is $25000, while surgery in the USA costs around $55000. Similarly, the cost of chemotherapy in Singapore goes up to $5000, whereas it is more than $5500 in the USA. Though the cost of the treatment varies greatly across individuals, it is still certain that Singapore offers high-quality treatment at relatively affordable costs, without having to spend a fortune by the patient availing the treatment.

What are the types of surgeries available in Singapore for prostate cancer treatment?

Here are some of the common treatments undertaken to treat this disease:

  • Radical Prostatectomy

This is a process of surgically removing the prostate from the body, so as to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other body parts. An incision is made in the lower abdomen to remove the prostate. Nowadays, robotic prostatectomy has become a common procedure, with small incisions being made in the abdomen, while the surgeon controls the robotic interface.  

  • Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

The TURP is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to trim off the excess prostate tissue. In this procedure, no incisions are made, but the scope is inserted into the urethra to remove the blockage in the prostate gland. Though this treatment is commonly performed on patients having Benign Prostate Hyperplasia, it is highly effective to treat the urinary problems that occur as a result of prostate cancer.

What is the recovery process post-treatment in Singapore for prostate cancer?

In case of a surgery, you need to remain on a catheter for at least a week, so that the bladder and the urethra are properly healed. After the treatment, it takes about two weeks to recover, after which you can resume your daily routine. In the case of radiotherapy, carry out with your normal activities as you need not stay overnight at the hospital. It is still advised to go for regular follow-ups to make sure that those cancer cells have stopped developing.

Which are the top hospitals for a prostate cancer treatment in Singapore?

Here are the best hospitals in Singapore to avail treatment for prostate cancer:

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital

  • Singapore General Hospital

  • National Cancer Center Singapore

  • Gleneagles Hospital

Who are the top doctors and surgeons for prostate cancer treatment in Singapore?

Singapore exhibits a richness in medical tourism, encompassing impressive medical infrastructure, with quality treatments being provided at reasonable rates. Though there are other countries where the treatment can be availed, Singapore boasts of state-of-the-art technology and JCI certified doctors who make a disease like cancer less painful, thus improving the quality of life.  

Here is a list of the best doctors to approach for treatment:

  • Dr. Ong Chin Hu

  • Dr. Damian Png

  • Dr. Michael Wong

  • Dr. Jimmy Beng

FAQ's Related to Singapore

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Singapore?

The accredition of hospitals in Singapore is done by Joint Commission International as an international accredition agency. Joint Commission International or JCI makes sure that the hospitals in Singapore are keeping up standards of patient safety and healthcare quality. Joint Commission International apprises hospital in Singapore on Organisation management and those hospitals that make the cut are the ones most sought after by everyone. The Joint Commission International keeps really stringent assessment measures before giving any hospital in Singapore the accredition.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Singapore?

The popular multi specialty hospital groups in Singapore are as follows

  1. Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  2. Raffles Hospital
  3. National University Hospital
  4. Gleneagles Hospital
  5. Singapore General Hospital
  6. Changi General Hospital
  7. Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  8. Tan Tock Seng Hospital
  9. Parkway Hospitals Singapore

The patient ecosystem that frequents the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore is made up of international patients because of the high quality of medical care available. The quality of medical professionals and the wide variety of specialties covered by the Singapore multispecialty hospitals is the reason for the success of the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore. The best of medical treatment can be had in the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore at less waiting times.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Singapore?

Healthcare in Singapore is identified with world class healthcare infrastructure and this gives you a strong reason to opt for treatment in Singapore. The highest quality of comprehensive care and high precision of clinical outcomes are aimed for by healthcare professionals and healthcare providers in Singapore. The commitment to providing the best in terms of service quality is one of the most important reasons for anyone to choose Singapore as a healthcare destination. Singapore is a medical tourism hub because it has high degree of access to quality healthcare for all and seamless travel opportunities.

What is the quality of doctors in Singapore?

It is important to know that with immense practical knowledge in their specialisation and being thorough professionals, doctors in Singapore are among the chosen few. The emphasis of the doctors in Singapore is on precision and efficiency of treatment and these can be used to assess that the quality of doctors in Singapore is really good. The quality of doctors in Singapore will be high considering that with an influx of international medical tourist, doctors in Singapore have a vast international exposure. The presence of sharp skills and being educated from the best of the educational institutions means that the doctors in Singapore are most sought after by the patients.

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

We bring to you the list of documents needed for your medical travel to Singapore:

  1. Medical Records and Reports describing your medical condition
  2. Communication from the hospital and/or the doctor that has referred you
  3. Passport
  4. Treatment Plan and Frequency of treatment
  5. Fit to travel confirmation
  6. To and Fro travel tickets
  7. Visa relevant to your visit as a medical traveller to Singapore
  8. Proof of financial means for travel and treatment
  9. Credit Card/Debit Card/Valid internet banking account in Singapore

Please create the document checklist before starting your journey to Singapore as a medical traveller. There are three types of documents that will cover your requirements during your medical travel to Singapore and these are your medical condition related documents, travel related documents and the ones related to your finances. It is essential to make sure that your travel documents align with your medical travel visa requirements making your treatment, stay and travel back a seamless process.

What are the popular procedures available in Singapore?

Please find below the popular procedures that are regularly done in Singapore:

  1. Dentistry
  2. Orthopedics
  3. Cardiology
  4. Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery
  5. Ophthalmology

Cardiology procedures have long been the forte of healthcare providers in Singapore owing to their expertise stemming from the best of education and training in performing these procedures. The precision and efficiency shown by doctors in the hospitals in Singapore in performing Orthopaedic surgery procedures has meant that they are one of the most popular procedures in Singapore. There are may popular cosmetic surgery procedures which are regularly done in clinics and hospitals in Singapore such as:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Rhinoplasty
  3. Face Lift
  4. Breast Augmentation
  5. Blepharoplasty
What are the other facilities provided by hospitals in Singapore?

It is the hospitals in Singapore that are giving a world class treatment to their patients and their loved ones accompanying them by providing several additional facilities. Your medical travel and transfer process is sought to be made easy and effortless by the hospitals in Singapore by providing you facilities such as:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Flight Booking
  3. Airport Transfers
  4. Interpreter

There are facilities available for medical travellers that ease the payment process such as private payment gateways and the option of availing private insurance. Whether it be providing health screening, dietitians and pharmacies presence in the hospitals in Singapore, everything is done in line with the patient centric care practiced by the hospitals.

What is the procedure for obtaining medical visa for Singapore?

Please check the visa requirements for your country before applying for a medical visa for Singapore as their are relaxed visa norms for many countries. Please find below the required documents for a medical visa to Singapore:

  1. Passport with the required time validity
  2. Completed application form
  3. LOI or Letter of Introduction from a local contact in Singapore
  4. A recent passport size photograph
  5. Bio data page photocopy of the passport of the applicant
  6. Covering letter and forwarding letter

A medical visa application to Singapore takes five days to process unless you apply during peak periods or have submitted a visa application which is incomplete in some shape or form. Also, before applying it would be pertinent if you check the required fee for the medical visa to Singapore from your country. Your financials must be in order for you to get a Singapore medical visa and you must submit your original bank statement to ensure this.