How Much Does Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Cost in India?

“The cost of chemotherapy starts from USD 600 per session, Radiation therapy starts at USD 3000, cost of Whipple’s procedure is USD 9500 and Pancreatectomy cost in India starts from USD 5000.

Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

The pear-shaped organ located in the abdominal area is the pancreas. Our digestive system’s ability to break down food depends on it. It releases a variety of digestive enzymes that break down the food particles in the duodenum region.

The pancreas carries out two different kinds of tasks. Most pancreatic cells produce the digestive enzymes needed to break down food. This is referred to as exocrine function.

  • The endocrine function of the pancreas, which includes certain pancreatic cells referred to as the islet of Langerhans, is in charge of regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Pancreatic cancer is the disease when a few pancreatic cells develop tumors leading to cancerous diseases.
  • The cells that cover the lining of the organs, mostly form tumors. Cancer of the pancreas is not easily diagnosable and treatable, especially at the early stage.
  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive types of cancer. The majority of pancreatic tumors begin in the pancreatic ducts.
  • The pancreas and common bile duct are linked by the main pancreatic duct, also known as the Wirsung duct.
  • Later on, abrupt weight loss and loss of appetite are also frequent, non-specific symptoms.
  • Imaging scans don’t detect pancreatic tumors in their early stages. Due to this, a lot of patients wait until the cancer has metastasized before receiving a diagnosis.
  • Additionally, resistant to several commonly prescribed cancer medications, pancreatic cancer is notoriously challenging to cure.
  • It is frequently referred to as “silent” cancer because no signs or symptoms are present.

Types of Pancreatic Cancer

There are two types of pancreatic cancer – exocrine and endocrine.

Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer

  • Around 95% of instances of pancreatic cancer are of this kind, making it the most prevalent. The pancreatic ducts and occasionally the pancreatic acinar cells are the primary sites of origin for exocrine pancreatic cancer.
  • Although it happens seldom, a pancreatic tumor might manifest as a lymphoma, cystic tumor, or neuroendocrine tumor.

The various types of exocrine pancreatic cancer include the following:

  • Ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Acinar cell carcinoma
  • Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous tumors
  • Pancreatoblastoma
  • Serous cystadenocarcinoma

Pancreatic Endocrine Cancer

  • Endocrine pancreatic carcinoma is uncommon and mostly benign.
  • The pancreatic islet cells are where the tumor first developed.
  • These tumors are less frequent and typically benign.
  • Despite its rarity, pancreatic endocrine tumor (PET)-related cancer affects the cells that make hormones. These tumors are also known as neuroendocrine tumors or islet cell tumors.

The following are some examples of the many endocrine pancreatic cancers:

  • Gastrinomas
  • Glucagonomas
  • Somatostatinomas
  • Pancreatic polypeptide-producing tumors (PPomas)
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide tumors (VIPomas)

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Each person has a unique set of pancreatic cancer symptoms. Early on, the symptoms are hardly noticeable, but they do start to show themselves with time.

Some of the symptoms that a patient with pancreatic cancer may experience include the following:

  • Jaundice
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in the upper abdomen or back
  • Yellow skin, eyes, or urine
  • Loss of appetite and weakness
  • Floating stools with a foul smell

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Pancreatic Cancer Causes

Finding the true cause of pancreatic cancer is difficult. In this field, various forms of research are flourishing.

On the other hand, some risk factors contribute to the growth of pancreatic cancer. Some practices that potentially raise the risk of pancreatic cancer can still be changed.

The real risk factors for pancreatic cancer are as follows:

  • Consumption of tobacco– According to a scientific study, those who smoke have a higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer than people who don’t. One and only smoking accounts for 25% of pancreatic cancer cases.
  • Obesity– Overweight people may be at an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Obese people have a 20% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those with a normal weight.
  • Chemical exposure– Employees at chemical companies frequently come into contact with chemicals. These individuals have a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
  • Genetic inheritance– 10% of cases of pancreatic cancer are caused by altered genes that are inherited.
  • Age– As people get older, their chance of developing pancreatic cancer may also rise. Most patients who choose to have a pancreatic diagnostic are in their 60s to 70s.
  • Gender– The analytical research indicates that men are more likely than women to develop pancreatic cancer. The predominant usage of cigarettes by men can be one major factor.
  • Physical inactivity– We can protect ourselves from several diseases, including pancreatic cancer, by engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Diet– Consuming overly fatty foods can ultimately raise the risk. To reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, we should stay away from processed meals and beverages with added sugar.

Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

As pancreatic cancer was initially undetectable, the early circumstances were not favorable for diagnosis. Before cancer spreads to other body parts, an early diagnosis can aid in the development of an efficient treatment plan.

Even though the symptoms differ, the doctors may suggest several tests at once.

The following are some tests that are preferred for pancreatic cancer:

  • Blood test
  • Computer tomography (CT) scan
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Biopsy

Stages of Pancreatic Cancer

  • The cancer’s stage is used to determine whether and how far it has progressed throughout the body.
  • The cancer treatment team will assess the patient’s disease severity and take it into account when creating their unique treatment plan.
  • The prognosis and outlook for the patient’s condition are also determined by the staging.
  • Generally speaking, cancer stages vary from 0 to IV based on how far the disease has spread.
  • Stage 0 of pancreatic cancer is the earliest stage, during which the disease is solely present in pancreatic cells.
  • As the disease progresses, it becomes more advanced and spreads to other body organs. Stages IA, IB, Stage IIA, and Stage III are additional categories for the stages.

Cost of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

    • The overall pancreatic cancer treatment cost is also affected by factors such as the standard and location of the chosen hospital, room category, surgeon’s experience, and many more.
    • The cost of pancreatic cancer treatment in developing nations like India varies depending on the type of treatment recommended for the patients along with several other factors.
    • Pancreatic cancer treatment is really expensive, for patients without health insurance, pancreatic cancer treatment typically costs about $50,000-$200,000 or more, depending on the type and length of treatment.
  Treatment Price in (USD) Price in (INR)
1 Chemotherapy Starting from $600 per session Starting from ₹50,000 per session
2 Whipple’s procedure Starting from $9,500 Starting from ₹789,000
3 Total Pancreatectomy Starting from $5,000 Starting from ₹415,000
4 Radiation Therapy Starting from $3,000 Starting from ₹249,000
  • The cost of chemotherapy starts from USD 600 per session in comparison to $1000 to $12000 in the US
  • Radiation therapy starts at USD 3000.
  • The surgery cost also depends on the type of surgery, such as:
  • Whipple’s procedure, the cost is USD 7500 or above in comparison to $40,000 in the US.
  • Total Pancreatectomy cost in India starts from USD 5000 in comparison to $35,000 in the US.

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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.

Treatment Options for Pancreatic Cancer

  • The location and size of the tumor affect the course of treatment for pancreatic cancer.
  • The doctor’s recommended course of therapy will also depend on the patient’s general health.
  • Early detection of pancreatic cancer increases the likelihood of success.
  • Patients with pancreatic cancer that has advanced stages can receive therapeutic choices to manage the condition, extending their lives.

Following are the treatment options for pancreatic cancer. These treatments can be used separately or in conjunction with one another.

Curative Surgery:

Surgery is considered the most effective treatment in the case of pancreatic cancer but only if the tumor is confined to the pancreas and the surrounding organs.

Depending on the location of the tumor, the surgeon may perform one of the following surgeries:

  • Whipple’s operation: This surgery is performed to remove the head of the pancreas along with the lower end of the stomach, most of the duodenum, gallbladder, common bile duct, and the surrounding lymph nodes. The digestive tract and the biliary system are then reconnected after the surgery.
  • Distal pancreatectomy: During this procedure, the surgeon removes the body and tail of the pancreas along with the spleen.
  • Total pancreatectomy: This procedure is carried out to remove the entire pancreas, portion of the small intestine, part of the stomach, gall bladder, spleen, common bile duct, and nearby lymph nodes.

For the treatment of specific tumors, including pancreatic cancer, numerous hospitals provide robotic surgery.

The da Vinci Robotic system, one of the most cutting-edge robotic techniques, is used in the best hospitals, which enables the surgeon to reconstruct the anatomy more precisely, less invasively, and with greater accuracy.

Palliative surgery:

Pancreatic cancer patients who cannot be cured at all with the help of any treatment modality are advised to undergo one of the following palliative surgeries to seek relief from its symptoms:

  • Stent surgery: This surgical procedure is conducted by doctors if the tumor blocks the small intestine or common bile duct. A tiny tube (stent) made of either plastic or metal is placed inside the body to keep the blocked area open.
  • Biliary bypass: Sometimes, placing a stent is not possible. In such cases, surgery is conducted to allow the bile to drain away by bypassing the blockage present in the common bile duct.
  • Gastric bypass: The surgeon performs this procedure if the tumor blocks the duodenum or the upper part of the small intestine. A gastric bypass surgery allows the food to pass through the bowel while skipping the blockage. This helps relieve bowel obstruction.

Chemotherapy For Pancreatic Cancer

  • With the aid of potent medications and chemicals, chemotherapy helps stop the growth of cancer cells in the pancreas or other surrounding organs.
  • The patient can receive the medication intravenously, orally, orally, and intramuscularly.
  • The medicine travels via the bloodstream to the site of the tumor and either kills the cancer cells there or prevents them from proliferating.

Radiation Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-ray beams or other particles to destroy the pancreatic tumor.

The following are the two types of radiation procedures used by the radiation oncologist:

  • External-beam radiation therapy: The high-energy beams are delivered inside the body of the patient with the help of a machine placed outside the body.
  • Internal-beam radiation therapy: A radioactive substance is introduced into the body of the pancreatic cancer patient to reach the site of cancer. These radioactive substances are inserted with the help of a needle, wire, or catheter.

Targeted Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Targeted therapy uses the concept of killing the tumor by the use of drugs that attack specific abnormalities present within the cancer cells.
  • These drugs arrest the growth of cancer cells by blocking the mutation that converts normal cells into cancerous ones.
  • Some of the drugs also work by preventing the formation of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the pancreatic tumor for growth and proliferation.


  • The type of treatment has an impact on the side effects. For the first several days after surgery, side symptoms can include weakness, fatigue, and pain.
  • The adverse effects of chemotherapy vary depending on the medications a patient takes. Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, digestive issues, rash, oral sores, hair loss, and weakness are typical ones.
  • Radiation therapy often causes moderate skin reactions, exhaustion, nausea, stomach issues, and irregular bowel movements as side effects. However, the majority of side effects often go away shortly after the course of treatment.

Suceess Rate

  • The 5-year survival rate is roughly 42% if the cancer is discovered at an early stage and surgical removal of the tumor is an option.
  • However, the 5-year survival rate drops to 14% if the cancer has spread to nearby organs or tissues.
  • The 5-year survival rate drops to 3% if pancreatic cancer is discovered after the disease has progressed to a distant area of the body.
  • Even though pancreatic cancer has a low survival rate, early detection and treatment can result in full remission. The only effective treatment for pancreatic cancer is complete surgical excision of the disease.
  • An individual pancreatic cancer cell typically takes 10 to 20 years to develop into a tumour.
  • Research is being done to find a way for medical professionals to spot pancreatic cancer early on, when it’s more treatable.

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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.
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