Lung Cancer Treatment Cost in India – Procedure, Best Doctors & Hospitals

Posted on March 14th, 2020 by Ganesh Gopakumar

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Cost of lung cancer treatment in India

The cost of lung cancer treatment in India is USD 8000-1000.

The cost in India varies based on the choice of hospital and the choice of city.

Choice of Hospital

The type of hospital you choose has a decisive role in the overall cost of the procedure. The cost varies drastically when we go from an economy hospital to a premium hospital. The cost mainly rises in premium hospitals due to the higher room rent, cost for medical care, etc.

Choice of City

The city in which the hospital you choose lies has a major impact on the total cost. The cost of food, accommodation, and transportation are much higher in Tier 1 cities. Hospitals in metro cities also charge higher for medical care. Tier 2 cities are cheaper.

Days in hospital5
Days outside hospital20
Total days in India25

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant tumor in the lungs which leads to uncontrolled and abnormal growth of lung tissues. The tumor present in the lung can grow and spread into other nearby organs making it more dangerous.

Types of lung cancer

  • Small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC)
  • Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC)

Small-cell lung carcinoma

SCLC, also known as oat cell cancer or oat cell carcinoma, is the highly malignant form of carcinoma arising mostly in the lung. It can arise from other parts of the body but is less likely.  It is the less common of the two, accounting for only 10-15% of all lung cancers. Even though they are less common, they are the more dangerous of the two. They are rapidly dividing with a shorter doubling time. It has a higher growth fraction and earlier metastasis. Due to this nature, SCLC is diagnosed in later stages where cancer has spread to other parts. This makes survival at risk.

Causes

  • Exposure to smoke
  • Exposure to radon, uranium

Symptoms

They do not show many symptoms in the early stages making it difficult to spot. They start to show symptoms when the tumor has grown to other parts of the body. The symptoms may include:

  • Blood in mucus from the lung
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Dyspnea
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling in the face

Stages

It is of two stages:

  1. Limited stage
    The cancer is found in only one lung or nearby lymph nodes on one side of the chest.
  2. Extensive stage
    This is a more serious stage of lung cancer where cancer has spread to other parts such as the whole lung, the other lung, lymph nodes on the other side, bone marrow, or other distal organs.

Non-small-cell lung carcinoma

They are the most common type of lung cancer seen, accounting for around 85% of all lung cancers. Chain smokers and people who inhale a lot of smoke are more likely to be affected. They are further of 3 types:

Adenocarcinoma starts in the mucus-producing cells on the outer part of the lungs. They slowly grow in size affecting other parts of the lungs and may grow to neighbor organs.

Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the cells of the inner lining of the lungs and causes problems. They spread further and are dangerous.

Large cell carcinomas are faster-growing tumors in the lungs and they are very difficult to treat.

Causes

  • Smokers or passive smokers
  • Asbestos
  • Metal dust and air pollution
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hereditary

Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Noises when you breathe
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling weak
  • Continued pneumonia or bronchitis

Stages

  • Stage 1: Cancer is present in one lung but has not spread to other parts
  • Stage 2: Cancer is found in the lung and nearby lymph nodes
  • Stage 3: Cancer is seen in one lung along with the lymph nodes in the middle of the chest
  • Stage 3A: Cancer is found on one lung along with lymph nodes in one side, but has not grown to other lymph nodes
  • Stage 3B: Cancer is seen in one lung along with the lymph nodes on one side of the lungs. Cancer then spread to the lymph nodes of the opposite chest or lymph nodes above the collarbone.
  • Stage 4: Cancer has spread to both lungs, into the area around the lungs, or to distant organs.

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

The doctor may perform the following tests to check whether you have lung cancer or not.

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan of the chest
  • MRI scan of the chest
  • A needle biopsy of the lung for lab test
  • A bone scan to check whether cancer has spread to the surrounding bone
  • Sputum cytology, where sputum is checked in the laboratory
  • Mediastinoscopy

Pre-surgery

  • You will need to consult a doctor with all your medical reports and history. He would ask you to do all the necessary tests to get a clear idea of the tumor
  • After seeing the results, the doctor would suggest the best treatment suitable for you. He decides it based on your health, type and stage of cancer, and your preferences
  • You will probably need to avoid certain medications a few days prior to the procedure if you are opting surgical option
  • You should also not eat anything on the day of the surgery

Procedure

The treatment options available for lung cancer are mainly 3:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiosurgery

Surgery

As the name suggests, the doctor removes the tumor from the lung and associated area through incisions. It is the primary treatment for patients with early-stage cancer who are in good general health. Open thoracotomy or less invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery, or robotic-assisted thoracic surgery using smaller incisions, is used as the situation demands. There are various procedures under surgery used to remove the tumor:

Lobectomy

It is the removal of the entire lobe of the lung which has a tumor when the other parts of the lung are healthy. The mortality rate of the surgery is 3-4% and could be higher with old age patients.

Sublobar resection (wedge resection)

It is also termed as a segmentectomy. The procedure is mainly done when lung health is not that great or the tumor is small. This saves the remaining healthy lung tissues of the lobe.  But the disadvantage associated with this procedure is the high chance of recurrence of the tumor. But it also has an advantage as it leaves with a loss of less lung function as healthy tissues are not removed. The mortality rate is much lower than lobectomy, 1.4%.

Pneumonectomy

The procedure involves the removal of the entire lung as the tumor has spread to the whole lung. It is mainly done when the large tumors are close to the main blood vessels such as the pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein or the main stem of the bronchi.

 

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays and protons to destroy the tumor. You will be made to lie on a table and a machine moves around you. It delivers high energy radiation precisely to the tumor location. The radiation dose and location are pre-planned by the oncologist along with radiotherapy technologists. This procedure however has a good chance of inducing some damage to the surrounding healthy tissues.  Using SRS, such as gamma knife and cyberknife can be more effective. SRS uses multiple beams of radiation focussed at the tumor site and destroys it. The major advantage is that it causes minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Many patients with small localized lung cancer, but who are not candidates for surgery, are being treated with radiation therapy. Patients who are poor candidates for surgery include the elderly, patients with chronic heart failure, and patients receiving a blood-thinning drug that puts them at risk of surgical bleeding.

Chemotherapy

The procedure involves giving chemotherapy drugs that can kill tumor cells intravenously or orally at intervals. A combination of drugs is given in over a period of weeks or months, with breaks in between so that you can recover.

This treatment is used in all stages of lung cancer and can prolong life even in elderly persons as long as they are in good general health. Some chemotherapy drugs increase damage done to tumors by the radiation treatment of cancer cells. Others keep the tumor cells at a stage where they are most susceptible to radiation treatment or impair the ability of cancer cells to repair themselves after a course of radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and damage to the white blood cells that are needed to fight infections.

Post-procedure care

  • You will probably wake up in the recovery room if you chose the surgical option.
  • Avoid strenuous activities that might affect the incisions.
  • Keep the site of incision clean to prevent infections.
  • You will be given painkillers and antibiotics which you should take as your doctor prescribes.
  • You will need to go for successive sessions of radiotherapy or chemotherapy as your doctor tells you.

Best Doctors in India for Lung Cancer Treatment

  1. Dr. VP Singh
  2. Dr. Aditya Gupta
  3. Dr. MR Sivakumar
  4. Dr. Paneer A
  5. Dr. Rajendran S
  6. Dr. Rajeev Anand
  7. Dr. Sangeetha Ravat
  8. Dr. Sreekanta Swamy
  9. Dr. Chandran Gnanamuthu
  10. Dr. Prathipa Singhi

Best Hospitals in India for Lung Cancer Treatment

  1. Paras Hospital, Gurgaon
  2. Medanta Hospital, New Delhi
  3. Artemis Hospital, Delhi
  4. Max Hospital, New Delhi
  5. Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
  6. BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi
  7. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
  8. Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
  9. Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
  10. Max Super Specialty Hospital, Gurgaon

FAQ

Can I prevent lung cancer?

You can reduce the chances of getting lung cancer significantly by quitting smoking and being around other people smoking. After 10 years, an ex-smoker lowers their risk of lung cancer anywhere from 30% to 50%. You should also stay away from other toxic fumes.

Which mode of treatment is better?
Radiosurgery is considered the better option by the doctors. It takes less time, with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. The radiation dose is focussed to the tumor. So there is nothing to worry regarding the harmfulness of ionizing radiation. It is better to consult your doctor, he would guide you with the best treatment option for you.

How do cancer cells affect our body?

Cancer is a kind of condition wherein it would cause abnormal cells to grow in a rapid manner. The cell growth is so rapid that it would form tumors or masses. The old cells that are supposed to die, do not die. The time would come when these cells would take over the normal, healthy cells. In the process, the whole body deteriorates because the cancer cells are not supposed to take over.

 


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