Prostate Cancer Treatment cost in Switzerland

Prostate Cancer Treatment in Switzerland

Many hospitals in Switzerland are specialized in treating prostate cancer. The treatment of prostate in Switzerland is done with advanced treatment techniques. Almost all the treatment options worldwide available to treat prostate cancer are available in Switzerland. The hospitals in Switzerland have access to modern technology in diagnosing the condition and are committed to providing the best medical care to the patients. With the new diagnostic methods available in the country, the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage leading to a significant reduction in death due to prostate cancer. Highly qualified and experienced urologists and trained paramedical staff work in sync to provide the best possible outcome in cases of prostate cancer. The success rate of hospitals in Switzerland treating prostate cancer is high. The hospitals in Switzerland continuously incorporates the updated research into their treatment without underlining the ethical practices. This is the reason that a number of patients visit Switzerland every year for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Cost Comparison

Prostate cancer in Switzerland is available at an affordable price keeping in mind the infrastructure, technology and the experience of the doctor’s and paramedical staff. Various factors affect the cost of treatment of the patient suffering from prostate cancer.

•    Stage of disease: As the disease progresses, more aggressive treatment is required and the treatment may be the combination of various options thereby increasing the cost.

•    Infrastructure: Infrastructure includes the room of stay, operation theatre charges, and the pre- and post-surgical care. Getting treating in hospitals with huge infrastructure and better facilities, patients have to pay more.

•    Experience of the doctors: Some doctors in a particular country are known for a particular type of treatment. Getting treatment from the renowned doctors increases the chances of success, that too with increased cost.

Da Vinci robotic system surgery in Switzerland costs around $14000 to $30000 whereas the laparoscopic prostatectomy costs around $6000 to $22000. The average cost of PSA, a diagnostic test, in Switzerland is about $1000 while the patient has to pay $15000 on an average for TURP.

Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

4 Day in Hospital

17 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 25000

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

Who is the best candidate for Prostate Cancer Treatment in Switzerland?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common, yet completely curable cancer provided the diagnosis should be done at an early stage. As the disease progresses and enters into the advanced stage, aggressive treatment is required with a poor prognosis. In some patients, cancer proceeds at such a low rate that it does not affect the life expectancy of the patient. In such a situation, the urologists prefer to put the patient on surveillance and monitor his condition. Treatment is usually not started in such patients. However, in patients with rapidly progressive cancer or cancer diagnosed at a later stage and is metastasized, treatment should be started as soon as possible.

In the initial stage, prostate cancer does not show any symptoms. The patient starts experiencing symptoms at a later stage. Due to the proximity of the prostate and urinary system, cancer in the prostate generally affects the urinary physiology. Various treatment strategies are adopted by the urologists and oncologists for prostate cancer. However, the options are used on the basis of stage and age of the patients.

If the tumor is confined only to the prostate, the age of the patient is less than 70 and he is otherwise in a healthy condition, surgery can be an option for such a patient. If the surgery cannot be done on such patients, the tumor is removed with the help of radiation. Sometimes a combination of surgery and radiotherapy is used to clear all the cancerous cells.  If cancer progresses too fast in a patient, the treatment applied may be hormonal therapy. This therapy reduces the progression of cancer. If the hormonal therapy fails to control the growth of malignant cells, chemotherapy is advised by the oncologists. Thus, the treatment differed from patient to patient and the stages, speed of progression and other factors impacts the choice of treatment.

What is the average cost of Prostate Cancer Treatment in Switzerland?

The cost of treatment of prostate cancer in Switzerland is at par with the other developed countries. Further, the price of treatment in Switzerland is competitive. The average cost of prostate cancer treatment varies with the treatment options as well as the hospital was chosen for treatment. Further, the doctor’s experience and stay at the hospital also affect the treatment cost. Brachytherapy in Switzerland costs about $7000 to $25000, HIFU costs about $10000 to $20000.  Cost of Da Vinci robotic system is approximately $14000 to $30000 while around $6000 to $22000 is for laparoscopic prostatectomy.

Why should you opt for Prostate Cancer Treatment in Switzerland?

Switzerland is a technology-driven country apart from its exceptional cultural diversity and natural beauty. Switzerland is considered one of the most innovative countries in the world. Prostate cancer requires a proper diagnosis of the stage and the progression of the disease. Accurate and precise diagnosis helps the oncologists to decide the further course of action. Most-modern technology is available in various hospitals of Switzerland to diagnose the disease with utmost accuracy. Cancer treatment has inherent side effects so much that many patients are not able to bear them. Advantages of opting the prostate cancer treatment in Switzerland include:

a) Infrastructure: The private hospitals have made huge investments to set up the hospitals that are on par with the healthcare facilities available in the other developed countries. Further, most of the hospitals are Superspeciality hospitals that have the ability to tackle complex situations.

b) A long list of hospitals: Many hospitals in Switzerland have access to innovative technologies required for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.

c) Innovative technology: All the technologies available in the world for treating prostate cancer are available in Switzerland.

d) Experienced Doctors: Switzerland is the home of highly educated, experienced and renowned urologists with a high success rate in treating prostate cancer. They are expert in analyzing the situation and are known for their genuine decision-making practices.

e) Trained Paramedical staff: Proper care before the surgery and after the surgery in Switzerland is made possible due to the efforts of extensively trained paramedical staff.

f) Tourist Place: As a tourist place with some exceptional places and rich cultural heritage, patients and their relatives choose to visit Switzerland for treatment and leisure.

How successful is Prostate Cancer Treatment in Switzerland?

The success of the prostate cancer treatment depends upon various factors such as the stage of the disease, age of the patient, response of the patient towards treatment, and speed of progression of the disease. If cancer spreads to other organs the survival rate gets decreased. The rate of survival from prostate cancer is 96% if detected at an early stage while it significantly reduces to just 26% if cancer gets metastasized before diagnosis or during treatment. However, due to the state-of-the-art diagnostic methods, innovative and modern treatment techniques, and highly experienced medical professionals, the overall 5-year survival rate is 88%, which is more than other European countries. The prevalence of all cancer patients is increasing, but the mortality is reducing due to improved treatment infrastructure.

FAQ's Related to Switzerland

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Switzerland?

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

  1. Paracelsus Clinic, Lustmuhle;
  2. Geneva Women Care, Geneva;
  3. Universitatsspital Basel, Basel;
  4. Klinik Hirslanden Zürich, Zurich;
  5. Lindenhofspital Bern, Bern;
  6. Hirslanden Klinik Aarau, Aarau

The country has more than 500 hospitals and boasts of some of the biggest private hospitals in the world. Around 12 hospitals are accredited and they adhere to international standards. The hospitals are efficient enough to provide world-class out-patient services. Also, the increasing number of hospitals has developed to centers of competence for excellent outpatient diagnostic and therapy. The multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland provide world-class treatment with the help of high-tech equipment, the latest medical technologies, and state-of-art infrastructure.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Switzerland?

Healthcare systems in Switzerland are bound to sign contracts on the quality of medical care as per international standards. International Standards Organization serves as a model of healthcare standards in Switzerland. Healthcare facilities receive accreditation according to the standard EN 45001 which confirms the quality of test results based on the accepted values and requirements and thus helps in evaluating the technical competence of a provider. Healthcare standards help hospitals to evaluate, control, and improve the standards of quality healthcare.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Switzerland?

Medical tourism in Switzerland is regarded as amongst the highest standard in the world due to its highly qualified experienced staff and reputation, traditional values of quality, precision, cleanliness, and research-focus. Backed with state-of-art infrastructure and exceptional research institutes, Switzerland offers quality medical care of international standards. Switzerland has a number of premier research institutes that focus on finding new treatment methods. The Swiss are best known for their excellence in medical innovation. Some other reasons why Switzerland is preferred for medical tourism are quality and safe treatments, high level of privacy, and a wide range of treatment specialties.

Do hospitals in Switzerland accept health insurance?

Health insurance is accepted at most of the hospitals in Switzerland. It is suggested to call your insurance company to know if a procedure is covered at the hospital in Switzerland. If the insurance plan is approved, the hospital will seek the Guarantee of Payment from the insurance to start cashless treatment. It is important to note that there are many things that are not covered under insurance like cosmetic surgery, pregnancy and abortion, and diagnostic tests. In case a procedure is not covered under health insurance at a hospital in Switzerland, you can pay initially for the treatment and get the amount reimbursed once you are back in your country.

What are the popular procedures available in Switzerland?

Switzerland has received worldwide recognition for reporting high success rates in the following procedures.

  1. Cosmetic surgery
  2. IVF treatment
  3. Neurosurgery
  4. Obesity surgery
  5. Orthopaedic surgery

The reasons for the popularity of these procedures are world-class clinics and hospitals, superior technology, and well-trained doctors. Switzerland has gained immense popularity for its excellence in cosmetic surgery and presence of medical health spas which have also made it a preferred spot for medical tourists. The increasing popularity of IVF in Switzerland is mainly attributed to highly trained fertility experts, a large number of clinics, and personalized care.

Which are the most popular cities in Switzerland for medical treatment?

Top destinations for medical tourism in Switzerland are Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Zurich, Lucerne, Bern. Backed by world-class hospitals with highly professional and talented hospitals and modern infrastructure, Switzerland delivers unmatched treatment. Zurich and Geneva attract most of the medical tourists due to their excellent public transportation system, availability of cheap accommodation, and connectivity through airlines. A large number of hospitals, scenic value, rich culture, availability of translators, and safety of tourists also contribute to the popularity of these cities in medical tourism.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to Switzerland?

Yes, vaccination is mandatory before you travel to Switzerland. Some of the vaccines recommended by WHO and CDC are:

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Rabies
  4. Meningitis
  5. Polio
  6. Measles
  7. Mumps and rubella (MMR)
  8. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  9. Chickenpox
  10. Shingles
  11. Pneumonia
  12. Influenza.

Make sure you have MMR and other routine vaccinations as some parts of Switzerland have routine disease outbreaks. The factors that decide the type of vaccine and the dosage are immunization history, traveler's age, and current medical conditions. Before traveling to Switzerland, it is suggested to get pre-exposure vaccination against rabies and yellow fever.

What is the process for obtaining medical visa in Switzerland?

A candidate needs to apply for a Schengen Visa for traveling to Switzerland to seek treatment. You can stay for a maximum of 90 days in the country if you have this visa. If you need to stay longer for treatment, you should apply for a National Visa for Medical Treatment. You need to produce the below documents to apply for a medical visa:

  1. Full return flight reservation
  2. Proof of stay in Switzerland
  3. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  4. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
  5. Passport
  6. Passport-sized photographs
  7. Online Application form

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