Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India

“The cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India starts from $3000.”

Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. This uncontrolled growth of breast cells may take place in any part of the breasts. 

It can either be benign or malignant. Benign tumors go slowly and do not invade other cells and tissues. Malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated and unchecked. The cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India starts from $3000 in India.

Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment Price
Chemotherapy Starting from $300 (per session)
Lumpectomy Starting from $3,000
Radiation Therapy Starting from $3,500
Radical Mastectomy Starting from $6,000
Total Mastectomy Starting from $7,000

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Factors affecting the cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Chemotherapy and cancer medicines are expensive. But, compared to the western countries, India has less expensive and low priced treatment for cancer patients. The cost of breast cancer treatment in India varies with cities and hospitals.

  • Every hospital has its own treatment facilities, surgeons, and infrastructure. The cost of facilities charges and tests add up to the cancer treatment cost. India has all the facilities of helping overseas patients with the most affordable breast cancer treatment.
  • High-quality breast cancer treatment is available in India and it is at par with what a medical tourist from abroad can avail in the US and the UK. But the benefit of choosing India over any other Western country is that treatment is available at a much lower price.
  • Extensive imaging facilities, diagnostic services, CT technology, and advanced MRI are available in many Indian cities. The different techniques for breast cancer surgery and treatment are available at 80 percent lesser price than the UK and US rates.

Even if travel and lodging expenses of patient’s family are taken into account, the cost of breast cancer is much lower. Here, have a look at cost comparison.

The foreign countries from where patients often travel to India for cancer treatment include the UK, US, Afghanistan, Australia, Tanzania, Nepal, Lanka, Kenya, Zambia, Zealand, Ethiopia, Canada, Uzbekistan, Uganda, and Nigeria. It should be noted that the cost of cancer treatment in India is inclusive of stay in hospitals, surgery, consumables, medicines, airport transfers and free stay of the companion.

Note: The treatment costs vary from case to case and a specialist review is advised to determine the best procedure/approach for treatment. Several external factors also impact the cost & quality of treatment including the method of treatment, room category and several other factors. Please contact Lyfboat Care Team for a personalised quote and advise.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. This uncontrolled growth of breast cells may take place in any part of the breasts. Mostly, it affects women but males can also get breast cancer. It is the second leading cause of death among females in India.

The cancer of the breast can either be benign or malignant. Benign tumors go slowly and do not invade other cells and tissues. The latter type of breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated and unchecked. They proliferate quickly.

What are the types of breast cancer?

Breast cancer can be of different types, depending on the exact area of the breast where the uncontrolled growth of cells has taken place. Following are the list of Common breast cancer types:-
Ductal-Carcinoma-in-Situ-Breast-Cancer

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) 

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is non-invasive breast cancer.
  • It starts inside the milk ducts and it hasn’t spread to any normal surrounding tissues.
  • Although DCIS is not life-threatening, but it increase the risk of invasive breast cancer.
Invasive-Lobular-Carcinoma-Breast-Cancer

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

  • In Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC), the cancer breaks through the wall of the milk-producing lobule and begins to invade the tissues of the breast.
Lobular-Carcinoma-In-Situ-Breast-Cancer

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is referred to when the abnormal cells start growing in the milk-producing lobules and does not spread to surrounding tissues. It increases a person’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer later on in life.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is a very common type of breast cancer, about 80% of breast cancers are IDC. In this type, the cancer breaks through the wall of the milk duct and starts spreading to the surrounding breast tissues. It can spread to the lymph nodes, if not treated on time. There are 5 types of IDCs as follows:-

  • Tubular – The tumor are made up of tube-shaped structures called tubules.
  • Mucinous – The tumor is a soft, fleshy mass that resembles to medulla.
  • Papillary – The tumor is made up of cells that float in pools of mucin which is a key ingredient in mucus.
  • Cribriform – The tumor has a well-defined border and is made up of small, finger-like projections.
  • Medullary – The tumor have distinctive holes in between the cancer cells which making it look like Swiss cheese. In ICC the cells look and behave like normal, healthy breast cells.

Inflammatory breast cancer

  • Inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare and aggressive disease in which lymph vessels in the skin of the breast are blocked by cancer cells.
  • In this type, the breasts often looks swollen and red, or inflamed. Inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

If a woman notices any of the symptoms of breast cancer, then she is possibly suffering from the disease. Not all symptoms are always visible to the patients, and this is the reason why breast cancer screening and diagnosis is important. Those who can afford to screen should opt for it every two years to check that there are no possible signs of the disease.

There are a few symptoms of breast cancer and cell abnormality that should be immediately screened, tested and diagnosed.

Advanced breast cancer symptoms:

  • Painful or non-painful growth of lump under arms or in the breast
  • Change in shape and size of breast
  • Change in color of the nipples or the breast skin
  • Abnormal discharge from the nipples

What are the causes of breast cancer?

More than 85 percent of the breast cancer cases occur because of some genetic abnormality. The abnormality is inherited in 5 to 10 percent of the cases, while in a large majority the abnormality develops due to natural wear and tear of life and with age.

Those whose close family members such as sister, maternal grandmother, or mother have had a history of breast cancer or any other cancer are more susceptible to getting the disease. However, extensive research has found that many breast cancer cases are not attributed to genetic problems. In such cases, the cause is sometimes hormonal.

How to diagnose breast cancer?

There are several types of tests conducted for the diagnosis of breast cancer. Some of the common tests include the following:

  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography (X-ray of the breast)
  • Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Breast Cancer Biopsy

Breast Cancer diagnosis is routinely conducted at all multispecialty and cancer hospitals. The tests such as biopsy, mammography, and ultrasound help confirm whether the patient is suffering from cancer or not. These tests help confirm the stage and grade of the tumor as well.

Once the cancer is confirmed, the doctor may order a few blood tests and the positron emission tomography (PET) scan to confirm whether the cancer is restricted to its place of origin or has spread to other parts of the body.

Based on the diagnosis made, a suitable treatment plan is tailored according to the needs of the patients.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

What are the stages of breast cancer?

Stages of cancer progression:

One may hear certain words that are used for describing the different stages of breast cancer, which include local, regional, and distant. Local breast cancer term is used to describe cancer in the breast. Regional breast cancer indicates that the lymph nodes in the armpits have been affected as well. Distant breast cancer is spread to other parts of the body as well.

In medical terms, breast cancer is best categorized as Stage 0, Stage 1, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV. Stage 0 is the nascent stage and is defined as non-invasive breast cancer. There are no signs of cancerous or non-cancerous abnormal cells found in any part of the body, including the breasts.

Stage I breast cancer
Stage I is the preliminary stage when cancer cells have started to grow inside the breasts but they have not spread out to any other part of the body. Typically, no lymph nodes are involved in this stage.

Stage II breast cancer
Stage II is that stage where no tumor is found, but cancer breaks out in the lymph nodes. In this case, the tumor usually measures 2 centimeters. The tumor can be larger than 2 centimeters but is definitely smaller than 5 centimeters.

Stage III breast cancer
Stage III is described as invasive breast cancer. The tumor measures more than 5 centimeters in this case. cancer is diagnosed in four to nine axillary lymph nodes situated near the breastbone.

Stage IV breast cancer
Stage IV is the fatal stage where cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body into other organs like brain, liver, lungs, skin and lymph nodes. The words ‘’metastatic’’ or ‘’advanced’’ are used to describe the Stage IV. Stage IV cancer may be the recurrence of previous breast cancer or it may be diagnosed for the first time.

What are the breast cancer treatment options available in India?

Following are the treatment options for breast cancer surgery in India:

Breast cancer surgery

Surgical intervention may be done for following reasons:

  • Remove as much cancer cells as possible – breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy
  • Determine whether the cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes under the arm – sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection
  • Restore the shape and appearance of breast after the removal of cancer – breast reconstruction surgery
  • To relieve the symptoms of advanced stage breast cancer

Breast cancer surgery in India have following options:

  • Lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery: This procedure involves the removal of the part of breast with tumour only, along with a small amount of surrounding healthy breast tissue. It is also referred to as partial mastectomy or segmental mastectomy. The goal is to remove the cancer cells as much as possible, while still conserving healthy parts of the breast. The amount of breast tissue that will be removed majorly depends on location and size of the tumour.

A far less common breast cancer removal surgery is a quadrantectomy. In this, almost a quarter of the breast is removed. After this surgery, the operated breast will appear smaller depending on the amount of tissue removed. It is sometimes referred to as a segmental excision.

  • Mastectomy: It involves the complete removal of all the breast tissue. With advanced surgical techniques, this surgery has become more refined and less intrusive than it used to be earlier. Now, the muscles under the breast are no longer removed (radical mastectomy) in most cases.

There are different types of mastectomy procedures available, such as skin-sparing mastectomy (skin can be preserved), or a nipple-sparing mastectomy (the nipple can be preserved).

Some women may need removal of both of the breasts, which is known as double mastectomy.

Radiotherapy is also administered as an adjuvant therapy after the surgery, if there is a risk of relapse or recurrence.

Lymph node removal: It can be performed during a lumpectomy and mastectomy if the biopsy results indicate that breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

  • Sentinel lymph node dissection or biopsy: In this, the surgeon locates and removes one or a few lymph nodes from under the arm. These lymph nodes receive drainage from the breast area and the first nodes to which cancer can spread. This is a less-invasive which helps in avoiding the removal of multiple lymph nodes with an axillary lymph node dissection. Removing the lesser number of lymph node in this procedure helps lower the risk of several side effects of the surgery, including lymphoedema (arm swelling).
  • Axillary lymph node dissection: This procedure involves the removal of several lymph nodes from under the arm. The number of lymph nodes removed in an axillary lymph node dissection varies for different patients. It may not be required for all women with early-stage breast cancer who have small amounts of cancer in their sentinel lymph nodes. A full axillary lymph node dissection is generally avoided in women having a lumpectomy and radiation therapy, and those who have a smaller tumor and not more than 2 sentinel lymph nodes have cancer. It is to reduce the risk of side effects of the procedure without affecting the survival.
  • Breast reconstruction: This is a procedure to rebuild the breast after a surgery – mastectomy and sometimes lumpectomy. Breast reconstruction can be performed at the same time as cancer-removing surgery, this is known as immediate reconstruction, or months to years later, called as delayed reconstruction. There are different options for reconstruction, including a prosthesis or tissue flap procedure. Many woman having a mastectomy surgery for breast cancer will have the option of breast reconstruction. The aim is to restore the natural appearance of the breast after surgery. For some patients undergoing breast-conserving surgeries, the doctor may suggest grafting fat into the affected breast to cover any dimples left after the surgery. There are several types of reconstructive surgery, and a woman may choose a certain the reconstruction option depending on the individual preference and medical condition.

Breast implant: These are prosthetic devices which are placed under the skin to give a natural appearance of the breast. Two most common types of implants are saline-filled or silicone gel-filled. The saline-filled implants has outer shell made up of silicone and filled with sterile saline or salt water inside. A silicone gel-filled implant is filled with silicone gel instead of salt water. There are several other types of implants with different shape and texture. Each implant has its own benefits and risks. The choice of implant varies from person to person.

Tissue flap procedure: In this method, the surgeon uses muscle and tissue taken from other parts of the body to reshape the breast. A tissue flap surgery can be done using the tissue from the back or belly, called pedicle flap. This flap is transferred to the chest without cutting any blood vessels. A free flap procedure means the surgeon cuts the blood vessels and the moved tissue is attached to the new blood vessels in the chest.

The oncologist may also suggest prophylactic procedures to reduce the risk of cancer –

  • Prophylactic mastectomy: It is a preventive procedure in which the breast is removed to lower the risk of breast cancer in people who are at a high risk.
  • Prophylactic ovary removal: This is a preventive procedure to reduce the amount of estrogen in the body. It aims to make it less likely for estrogen to stimulate or aid in the development of breast cancer.

Chemotherapy – 

It administered either before or after breast cancer surgery. It involves the use of specific drugs to kill off cancer cells. The use of chemotherapy may depend on the stage and the location of cancer. Different doses of chemotherapy drugs are administered through injections directly into the veins or with the help of IV solution or pills. The motive is to kill the cancerous cells and impede further relapse.

Radiation therapy – 

It is often done post-surgery to kill the cancerous cells that are still left. Radiation therapy is done in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of invasive breast cancer.

Types of Radiotherapy for breast cancer treatment:

External beam radiation: It is the most common type of radiation therapy used for breast cancer patients. In this, radiation is delivered by a machine outside the body which focuses the radiation beams on the targeted area having cancer.

Women who had lumpectomy will most likely have radiation to the entire breast, referred to as whole breast radiation. 

The standard radiotherapy schedule for whole breast radiation is about 5 days a week for about 6 to 7 weeks. Another option for this therapy is hypofractionated radiation therapy in which the radiation is given to the whole breast, but in larger daily doses and with fewer cycles, typically for only 3 to 4 weeks.

Partial breast irradiation is also an option for some women, in which larger doses of radiation are given over a shorter time to only a selected part of the breast, instead of the entire breast. 

Other types of radiation therapy for breast cancer:

  • Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT): This treatment involves administering a single large dose of radiation to only the area from where the tumor was removed in the operating room. It is performed right after a Breast Conserving Surgery, just before the incision on the breast are closed. 
  • 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT): It is an advanced radiation technique, in which special machines are used to accurately aim the radiation at the area from where tumour was removed. This helps to prevent the damage to the healthy breast tissues. 
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): This is also an effective radiation delivery method, like 3D-CRT. It involves changing the strength of the radiation beams in certain areas, to allow stronger doses to certain parts of the breast. This helps lessen the damage to surrounding healthy body tissues.
  • Brachytherapy: This is an internal radiation technique. In this treatment, radiation beams are not aimed from outside the body, but a device containing the radioactive seeds or pellets is directly placed into the in the area of the breast where the cancer had been removed, for a short period of time. Brachytherapy is an option for selected cases depending on factors such as tumour size and location. 

Hormonal therapy – 

It is administered on PR-positive and ER-positive types of patients with breast cancer. The idea is to give hormonal therapy medicines so as to obstruct the action of hormones on the cancer cells and stop its further proliferation.

Targeted drug therapy – 

It is the most advanced types of treatment for breast cancer. It is expensive but result-oriented. Targeted drug therapy is different from chemotherapy wherein certain characteristics of the cancer cells are targeted. For example, the presence of HER-2 receptors on the surface of the cancer cells in case of breast cancer. These cells tend to grow abnormally and so are specifically killed by targeted drug therapy. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy does not kill healthy cells in the body.

Why choose India for breast cancer treatment?

India houses some world-class hospitals for breast cancer treatment. These hospitals offer state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic facilities, which includes the use of high-end and the latest technology. The affordable mammogram cost and breast cancer treatment cost charged by the hospitals makes patients come to India for medical treatment. The cost is just one-fifth of what it costs in other countries, like UK, US, and UAE.

There are many reasons why patients from abroad feel confident and safe while travelling to India for breast cancer treatment. Some of the reasons include the following:

  • The facilities offered at the breast cancer hospitals adhere to national accreditation standards and that of international hospitals.
  • The staff employed at the top hospitals for breast cancer treatment in India are fluent in English.
  • The doctors understand the needs of the patients quite well.
  • Top doctors in India make use of third generation technology plus medical techniques for patients.
  • A loving and compassionate environment is the unique selling proposition of Indian hospitals.
  • The best hospitals boast of the most eclectic group of surgical oncologists combined with the medical team.
  • The surgeons possess the expertise and skills required for solving simplest to the most complicated cases.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) about Breast cancer treatment in India

Q: What are the test rates for breast cancer diagnosis in India?

The diagnosis test rates depends on the type of test being conducted and the city and the hospitals where you choose to get it done. It may vary from one facility to the other. For example, a PET scan may cost around $300 in a metropolitan city.

Q: What is the breast cancer survival rate in India?

The survival rate depends on the stage of cancer you are diagnosed with. The 5-year survival rate associated with different stages include the following:

  • Stage 0: 100%
  • Stage 1: 100%
  • Stage 2: 93%
  • Stage 3: 72%
  • Stage 4: 22%

Q: How can breast cancer be avoided?

You can prevent breast cancer by limiting your alcohol intake, maintaining physical activity rates and weight, avoiding exposure to smoke and radiation, and limiting hormone therapy. New mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies to prevent the risk of breast cancer.

Q: What is BRCA?

Most of the breast cancer cases due to inheritance occur because of abnormalities in two genera – BRCA1 and BRCA2. The job of these two genes is to suppress tumor growth in the breast. However, in case of an abnormality, these genes may lose their effectiveness against tumor growth.

Q: How common is breast cancer in India?

According to the latest breast cancer statistics in India, more then 1,55,000 in a year are diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than half of them die of this condition. The 2012 breast cancer statistics indicate that more than 1.7 million women around the world are affected by this condition. According to WHO breast cancer statistics, it is the most frequent cancer among women.

Q: What is the breast cancer chemotherapy cost in India?

The chemotherapy cost depends on the stage and grade of cancer being treated and the dose administered to the patient. It may range between $100 and $300 per cycle of treatment.

Q: How much does radiation cost?

The total cost of radiation therapy in India depends on the duration of therapy and the radiation dose administered. It may cost anywhere $50 and $200 per cycle of treatment, depending on these factors.

Q: What is the cost of breast cancer treatment per person?

The cost of breast cancer treatment may vary from one patient to another because of the variation of stage and grade in cancer and the treatment modalities used for the elimination of cancer cells.

There are several multi-facility and super-specialty Indian breast cancer treatment hospitals. All types of cancers are treated through application of cutting-edge technology. The main goal is to focus on the specific needs of patients and design a treatment procedure suited for the particular patient.

List of some Indian breast cancer hospitals include the following:

Best Doctors for Breast Cancer Treatment in India

India is globally renowned for its brigade of highly experienced oncologists. Each breast cancer treatment hospitals in India has a team of onco-surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

Each type of oncologist listed above performs a separate set of duties religiously. A majority of breast cancer doctors in India are trained and educated from abroad. Additionally, they hold several certifications from some of the most prestigious organizations.

List of some Indian breast cancer surgeons include the following:

Dr. Ashok Vaid

30+ years of Experience

Dr. Ashok Vaid

30+ years of Experience

Dr. Hari Goyal

23+ years of Experience

Dr. Hari Goyal

23+ years of Experience

Dr. Sandeep Batra

22+ years of Experience

Dr. Sandeep Batra

22+ years of Experience

Dr. Randeep Singh

17+ years of Experience

Dr. Randeep Singh

17+ years of Experience

Dr. Ankur Bahl

12+ years of Experience

Dr. Ankur Bahl

12+ years of Experience

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