Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Cost in India

Last Modified: February 14, 2020  |   Created on: November 19, 2019
Cancer Treatment
Head-Neck-Cancer-Treatment

Patients from abroad prefer to come to India for cancer treatment because of many reasons. The affordable cost of cancer treatment in India is one of the leading reasons behind their decision to fly thousands of miles to seek treatment.
The same is true about the cost of head and neck cancer treatment in India. It is estimated that head and neck cancer treatment cost in India is one of the lowest in the world. A patient traveling from abroad for head and neck cancer treatment in India typically saves around 60 to 70 percent of their money that they would otherwise spend in any other Western country for the same quality of medical and surgical services.
The total cost of head and neck cancer treatment in India, however, depends on several factors. Some of the main factors that dictate the head and neck cancer treatment cost in India include the following:

  • Type of head and neck cancer diagnosed
  • Extent of cancer and its grade
  • Course of treatment recommended by the doctor
  • Duration of hospital stay
  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Anesthesia cost
  • Hospital charges

Despite all these factors, the total cost of head and neck cancer treatment in India remains one of the lowest in the world. This is the reason why cancer patients from abroad are able to seek treatment in one of the best hospitals for head and neck cancer treatment in India and are still able to save thousands of dollars.

The following table indicates the starting cost of head and neck cancer treatment in India (for different cancer types) and the US:

Cost of Head and Neck Cancer Treatment
Type of Cancer India US
Oral cancer $6000$40000
Nasopharyngeal cancer $4000$30000
Laryngeal cancer $4500$32000
Salivary gland cancer $4000$32000

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Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

Head and neck cancer is a group of cancers that start in any tissue of the head or the neck. This cancer typically includes the cancer of the salivary glands, nose, mouth, lips, throat, sinus, and larynx. Head and neck cancer treatment in India is availed to patients who suffer from any cancer that begins in the squamous cells of the mucosal lining or surfaces within the neck and head. Apart from squamous cells carcinomas, head and neck cancer may also affect the salivary gland, which is made up of different types of cells.

Head and neck cancer treatment is commonly available across best cancer hospitals in India. Cancer of the head and neck is one of the most common cancers in India (almost 30 percent of all cancers) and therefore, the country has maintained a wide network of hospitals that deliver specialized cancer treatment and care to such patients.

A number of patients from abroad prefer to undergo head and neck cancer treatment in India. Some of the reasons that drive patients to India for cancer treatment include affordable cost, better availability of high-end technology, the presence of highly experienced doctors, and negligible waiting time.

Patients who opt for head and neck cancer treatment in India are treated with the help of a holistic approach. This approach not only targets the cancer cells but also intends to improve the overall quality of life of the patients after treatment.

Earlier, the aim of a majority of head and neck cancer treatment hospitals in India was to ensure cancer-free survival through treatment. However, this criterion has drastically changed in the last few years. Now the best doctors for head and neck cancer treatment in India deliver treatment that not only ensures cancer-free survival but also aims at restoring the normal functions concerning the speech, taste, smell, and swallowing.

Head and Neck Cancer: An Overview

Head and neck cancer is actually a group of cancers that includes cancer of the oral cavity, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, larynx, and salivary glands. Head and neck cancers are amongst the most common malignancies in India and around the world.

Types of Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer is typically categorized into five different types, according to the location of the tumor. These include the following:

  • Nasopharyngeal cancer: The tumorous cells present in the upper part of the throat behind the nose lead to the development of nasopharyngeal cancer.
  • Oropharyngeal or oral cancer: It is cancer in the middle part of the throat, which includes the mouth and tongue of the oral cavity.
  • Hypopharyngeal or laryngeal cancer: The presence of cancer in the voice box (larynx) is known as laryngeal cancer.
  • Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer: Paranasal sinuses are the areas that surround the nasal cavity and are filled with the air. A nasal cavity is a space behind the nose through which air passes to the throat after entering into the nose. Cancer of these areas is known as paranasal sinus and nasal cavity sinus cancer, respectively.
  • Salivary gland cancer: Tumor present in the salivary glands is known as salivary gland cancer. Salivary glands play a key role in human digestion and help keep the mouth moist by releasing salivary juice. Salivary glands are present near the jawbone and beneath the tongue.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Head and Neck Cancer Treatment 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.

Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis

The diagnosis of head and neck cancer treatment in India depends on the set of symptoms that the patient may experience. The following are some of the common warning signs that the head and neck cancer surgeon in India may first identify and then order a few diagnostic tests:

  • Foul breath
  • Swelling in the throat
  • Changes in voice or increased hoarseness
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Oral ulcer with red or white patch
  • Nasal congestion or obstruction

Based on the initial assessment (physical examination and medical history), the head and neck cancer treatment specialist in India may order a combination of the following tests to diagnose the condition and the type of cancer:

  • Urine and blood test
  • X-ray
  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Bone scan
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

Sometimes, the doctor may even order a Panorex, which is a special X-ray of the teeth, upper and lower jaws, sinuses, and the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

Head and neck cancer treatment in India is available at world-class cancer hospitals that provide quality medical and surgical services at an extremely affordable cost. These specialized oncology centers in India are globally renowned for their excellent treatment outcomes and success records.
Head and neck cancer treatment in India is provided through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Depending on the treatment plan prepared by the surgeon, the patient is either treated with the help of one of these treatments or a combination of these treatment options.

Head and Neck Cancer Surgery in India

Surgery for head and neck cancer treatment is carried out to remove all the cancer cells that can be visualized or identified by the surgeon. The surgical method and approach used to eradicate cancer cells from the affected region depend on the type of head and neck cancer that the patient is suffering from.

  • Surgery for oral cancer: Surgery is the best possible treatment for cancer that affects the lips, mouth, and the oral cavity. The cancerous tissue is removed along with some of the healthy tissues around them by making a local incision. The mandible is removed in some cases, especially in cases where cancer has been spread to the jaw bone.

Following the removal of the tumor, reconstructive surgery is conducted to reinstate the appearance of the patient. Sometimes, a skin graft, dental implant, or free flap surgery is required to restore the function of the removed parts of the oral cavity.

  • Surgery for oropharyngeal cancer: Oropharyngeal cancers are not usually treated with surgery as it is difficult to reach the back of the tongue without dividing the jawbones or anatomical structures present in the oral cavity. However, advancements in technology have now made it easier for surgeons to gain access to the back of the tongue with the help of robot-assisted surgery.
  • Surgery for hypopharyngeal cancer: Any stage of hypopharyngeal cancer can be treated with the help of a surgical procedure. Laryngopharyngectomy is done to remove a part of or complete larynx along with a part of the pharynx. The pharynx is reconstructed with the help of the flaps to reciprocate the swallowing movement.
  • Surgery for Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer: The most common treatment for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer is surgery. Rhinectomy, partial maxillectomy and radical maxillectomy can be performed to remove the tumor depending on its location.

Radiotherapy For Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

High energy beams of X-rays are used as a part of radiotherapy treatment to kill cancer cells. The DNA of the cancer cells is destructed either directly or through the generation of free radicals within the tumor cells. The cancer cells get eliminated from the body naturally after the destruction of the DNA.
But radiation therapy also damages the healthy cells present in the vicinity of the tumor cells. Therefore, the patient is made to wear a mask on the head so that the radiation exposure to the healthy cells is minimal. The mask keeps the head of the patient in a static position, thus allowing the radiation oncologist to precisely target the cancer cells.
A patient on radiotherapy receives the treatment on a daily basis for a specific number of weeks or as advised by the doctor.

Chemotherapy For Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

Chemotherapy involves the use of potent drugs and chemicals to kill off cancer cells or slow down their growth and development. Chemotherapy for head and neck cancer is administered to the patient through an intravenous route. A catheter or port is used to supply medicine to the body of the patient. Pumps are also installed in some patients to control the dosage and its rate.

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

  • Endoscopic laser surgery: This highly advanced surgical procedure is used for the treatment of tumors in the larynx and pharynx. An endoscope is used to remove or destroy the cancer cells in the patient’s pharynx or voice box with the help of a special laser.
  • Robotic surgery: Robotic surgery is a minimally-invasive technique used in the case of tumors present in the tonsils or the back of the oral cavity. A surgical robot helps the surgeon access the head and neck area to perform the surgery directly through the oral cavity. Scars on the face or neck are avoided with the help of robot-assisted surgery, which also ensures a quicker recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in India

Q. Is robotic surgery for head and neck cancer treatment available in India?

The top cancer hospitals in India are equipped with the latest medical and surgical instruments such as robot-assisted surgery system. Transoral robotic surgery is an advanced technique that can enable the removal of hard-to-reach tumors with a less invasive approach. The technology provides the benefits of improved recovery time, less pain and minimal damage to tissues as well as muscles that are required for eating and other daily activities. Head and neck cancer doctors in India are highly skilled specialists who are trained in performing sophisticated robotic surgery systems. The technology enables the doctor to conduct the operation with more precision and accuracy.

Q. Can I have reconstructive surgery after surgical removal of the tumor?

The plastic surgeons in India can repair certain areas of the head and neck using reconstructive microsurgery techniques, depending on the patient’s requirements and other factors. The surgery may involve rebuilding the structures and parts of the nose, tongue or throat using tissues from other areas of the body, such as the thigh, abdomen or forearm.
However, it may not be possible for every patient to have reconstructive surgery because of damage to the tissue from the tumor removal surgery or radiation therapy. In case reconstructive surgery is not possible, an artificial dental and/or facial part may be created by a prosthodontist to help attain satisfactory swallowing, speech, and appearance.

Q. How is Nasopharyngeal cancer different from Hypopharyngeal Cancer?

Nasopharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer both affect the throat, but each condition is related to a different part of the throat. They have their own unique symptoms and require a different approach to treatment. Nasopharyngeal cancer starts in the cells of the nasopharynx, the top part of the throat behind the nose. Hypopharyngeal cancer develops in the cells of the hypopharynx, the bottom part of the throat behind the larynx. Both of these cancers may spread to other parts such as esophagus, trachea, thyroid gland, larynx or lymph nodes in the neck.

Q. Who is at risk of developing head and neck cancer?

The two major risk factors for head and neck cancers are alcohol and tobacco use including chewing tobacco (smokeless tobacco), especially for the cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. Certain viral infection with types of human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV type 16, is also a risk factor for some types of head and neck cancers, specifically oropharyngeal cancers that affect the tonsils or the base of the tongue.

Q. What are the risks and complications of head and neck cancer surgery?

Surgery for head and neck cancers involves some risks and complications, including infection, swelling, pain, lymphedema, and others. The patient’s ability to chew, swallow, or talk may also be affected post-surgery. Some people may even look different after their surgery. There can be swelling on the face and neck, but it usually subsides within a few weeks.
After a laryngectomy or a surgery on the neck, there may be some numbness in the parts of the neck and throat as the nerves have been cut. The shoulder and neck may become weak and stiff, due to the removal of lymph nodes in the neck.

Q. What are the adverse effects of radiation therapy?

Radiation to the head and neck may cause problems such as

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Sores in the mouth a dry mouth
  • Thickened saliva
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Changes in taste
  • Nausea

Some patients may also experience other problems such as loss of taste, which may affect the appetite and nutrition, and earaches due to the hardening of ear wax.

Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.

Best Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Hospitals in India

The best hospitals for head and neck cancer treatment in India are located in different parts of the country. Some of the leading head and neck cancer hospitals in India are located in the top metropolitan cities, including Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mumbai.

Gone are the days when patients used to rely on just one medical expert or surgeon for the treatment of cancer. Now cancer treatment involves a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure better outcomes and survival rates. The same is the case with head and neck cancer treatment in India.

The top hospitals for head and neck cancer treatment in India deliver medical and surgical services to patients through a team of highly experienced and qualified cancer specialists. The team that delivers head and neck cancer treatment in India usually includes a neck and head cancer surgeon, radiation oncologist, speech therapist, medical oncologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and an anesthetist among other specialists.

Apart from the medical and surgical cancer treatment services, the best hospitals for head and neck cancer treatment in India also provide a plethora of other facilities that a patient may need during their course of treatment. These include a well-equipped diagnostic facility, pathology lab, and rehabilitation center.

The top head and neck cancer treatment hospitals in India have a separate department to handle queries and concerns of the patients planning their medical trip to India for cancer treatment. Each patient is assigned a separate case manager to handle all their questions and guides them through their complete medical trip.

Best Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Surgeons in India

It is a globally renowned fact that India houses some of the best cancer specialists in the world. The best cancer treatment doctors in India have carved a name for themselves at a global level by consistently meeting the expectations of the patients and for maintaining a great success record when it comes to positive outcomes of cancer treatment.

The top head and neck cancer surgeons in India are educated and trained from some of the most prestigious medical institutes in the world. They believe in the principle of continuous medical education and therefore, participate in different events held across the world every year to update their knowledge and skills.

Based on the type of cancer that the patient is suffering from, the leading head and neck cancer treatment specialist in India guides his or her team about the medical history of the patient. He or she also helps them prepare for the surgery.

The best head and neck cancer surgeons in India practice at some of the leading cancer treatment hospitals in the country. A patient from abroad can seek consultation with the top head and neck cancer treatment doctor in India through direct appointment or via Lyfboat.

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