Stomach Cancer Treatment in South Africa

Cancer is a disease where cells start to grow abnormally and form a tumor. When this condition develops in the stomach, it is known as Stomach Cancer.

It can be anywhere in the stomach, that may cause various symptoms and tend to have several outcomes. These cancers develop slowly and take several years to be able to identify.

There are many types of stomach cancer such as Adenocarcinoma, Lymphoma, Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), Carcinoid tumor and as mentioned earlier symptoms for each may vary.

Symptoms for Stomach Cancer

Since it develops slowly, early-stage stomach cancer hardly shows any causes or symptoms. This makes it hard to detect early but one can keep an eye on a few of the points which could be a sign of stomach cancer such as:

  • Bloating of stomach after eating
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling of full-stomach after eating less
  • Indigestion
  • Pain the stomach
  • Vomiting often
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Heartburn that might increase

The above symptoms could be the sign of Ulcer or some other issues but if anyone has these problems must go to the doctors for a complete check-up so that it can be treated.

Factors affecting the cost of Stomach Cancer

Below are the major factors affecting the cost of Stomach Cancer treatment. Thus, the early detection of stomach cancer can reduce the economic burden.

  • Part of the stomach
  • Type of treatment
  • Stage of cancer
  • Available resources
Treatment and Cost

25

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 28500

Hospitals

About the Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. This disease is a result of the growth of cancerous and malignant cells in the inner lining of the stomach.

Stomach cancer does not grow overnight as this disease usually grows slowly over many years. Some pre-cancerous changes take place before true cancer actually develops. But these early changes rarely result in any symptoms and therefore, often go undetected in the early stage when it is most easy to treat it.

Gastric cancer can grow through the wall of the stomach and invade nearby organs. It can easily spread to the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. In an advanced stage, it can travel through the bloodstream and spread or metastasize to organs such as the liver, lungs, and bones. Usually, people diagnosed with stomach cancer have either experienced metastasis already or eventually develop it.

Types of Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer should not be confused with other cancers in the abdomen or esophageal cancer. Some other cancer can also occur in the abdomen, including cancer of the large and small intestine, liver or pancreas. These cancers may have different symptoms, outlook, and options for treatment.

Some of the common types of gastric cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinoma: It is the most common form of stomach cancer and about 90 to 95 percent of stomach cancers are This form of cancer develops from the cells that form the innermost lining (mucosa) of the stomach.
  • Lymphoma: This is a rare form of stomach cancer and only about four percent of stomach cancers are lymphomas. These are cancers of the immune system tissue, sometimes found in the wall of the stomach.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): It is a rare kind of tumor that starts in very early forms of cells in the wall of the stomach calledinterstitial cells of Cajal. GISTs can be found anywhere in the digestive tract.
  • Carcinoid tumour: It is also a rare form of stomach cancer and about three percent of stomach cancers are carcinoid tumors. Carcinoid tumors start in cells of the stomach that produced hormones.

Some other types of stomach cancers include squamous and small cell carcinoma and leiomyosarcoma. These cancers are very rare.

Stomach Cancer Causes

There is no single, definite cause behind stomach cancer. However, several stomach cancer risk factors have been identified that could potentially lead to the formation to a tumor in the stomach. Some of these stomach cancer causes or risk factors include:

  • Inflammation of the gut called gastritis
  • Infection with common bacteria called Helicobacter pylori
  • Long-lasting anaemia
  • Growth in stomach called polyps
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Excessive consumption of smoked, pickled or salty foods
  • A-type blood group
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Certain genes (family history of disease)

Stomach Cancer Symptoms

There can be several early stomach cancer symptoms. However, the signs of stomach cancer could be present because of some other underlying condition as well. Unfortunately, this is the main reason why it is difficult to make stomach cancer diagnosis at an early stage.

Some of the early stomach cancer symptoms may include:

  • Heartburn
  • Regular indigestion
  • Slight nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent burping
  • Feeling bloated

But just experiencing indigestion or heartburn after a meal does not really mean that you have cancer. Although, if you experience these symptoms a lot, talk to your doctor, who can decide whether to conduct further tests or not.

As advanced gastric cancer grow, you may experience more serious signs of stomach cancer, including the following:

  • Frequent stomach ache or pain in the sternum
  • Frequent heartburns
  • Vomiting containing blood
  • Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)
  • Loss of appetite, accompanied by sudden weight loss
  • Blood in stools
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Yellowish eyes or skin

How is Stomach Cancer Treatment performed?

There are many options for stomach cancer treatment. Your specialist will choose the most appropriate treatment plan for you, depending on the stage of your cancer.

Most often, a combination of the following stomach cancer treatment options is used to remove tumor:

  • Surgery: It is the most common and preferred option for the treatment of stomach cancer. Your surgeon may remove stomach cancer as well as the margin of healthy tissue. Surgery helps remove the tumor and stops cancer from spreading to other parts of your body by making sure that no cancerous cells are left behind. If the cancer is in a more advanced stage, it may require removal of the entire stomach. Most of the surgeries are conducted with the help of a special device known as an endoscope. Subtotal gastrectomy and proximal gastrectomy are conducted in the case of distal and proximal cancers.
  • Chemotherapy: It involves the use of certain cytotoxic medicines and drugs that help kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. It can be taken as pills or through an IV at a clinic. Chemotherapy usually takes several weeks and it causes some side effects. But these side effects can be subsidized by following your doctor’s advice.
  • Radiation therapy: In this treatment, high-energy rays are used to kill cancerous cells. Radiotherapy is not commonly recommended for the treatment of stomach cancer because of the risk of harming other nearby organs. However, in the advanced case of gastric cancer, radiotherapy is an option.
  • Targeted medicines: Some new types of drugs can fight cancer cells and have fewer side effects than chemotherapy and radiation, which have the tendency to kill healthy cells along with the cancerous ones.

Stage 0 stomach cancer treatment: It is mostly treated with the help of an endoscopic surgery.

Stage 1 stomach cancer treatment: It is mostly treated with the help of an endoscopic surgery, followed up with a few session of chemotherapy. Sometimes, the surgeon may advise you to undergo a few session of chemotherapy before the surgery as well.

Stage 2 stomach cancer treatment: Surgery is the main treatment option followed by chemotherapy. If you decide against the surgery, a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used.

Stage 3 stomach cancer treatment: A few cycles of chemotherapy are conducted before the surgery, followed up with a surgery. Following the surgery, a few cycles of chemotherapy are repeated, followed by radiation therapy.

Stage 4 stomach cancer treatment: Chemotherapy is the main treatment option for such patients. A surgery can be conducted to control the symptoms. Radiotherapy could be used if needed to relieve symptoms.

Recovery from Stomach Cancer Treatment

Recovery after stomach cancer treatment can take a long time. You may need special palliative care to manage the discomforting symptoms such as extreme pain. With constant support from the doctors, friends, nurses and family members, the health eventually feels better and you are able to experience an improved quality of life.

You may not be able to eat properly or by your own immediately after the surgery. However, you are able to return back to your normal routine in a few days. Planning and managing regular chemotherapy visits after the surgery can be difficult.

Discuss with your doctor about specific side effects that you are likely to face after chemotherapy. The doctor will give you specific medications that will help relieve specific symptoms such as nausea, weakness, vomiting, joint pain, and headache.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
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 South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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