Lung Cancer Treatment Cost in India

Last Modified: June 10, 2020  |   Created on: July 26, 2018
Cancer Treatment

The cost of Lung Cancer treatment in India starts from $2800. This could vary on case basis and  opted treatment. A specialist review is always advised.

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How Much Does Lung Cancer Treatment Cost in India?

The Cost of Lung Cancer treatment in India as below:

Lung Cancer TreatmentPrice
ChemotherapyStarting from $300 per session
Radiation therapyStarting from $2,800
Wedge resectionStarting from $2,500
PneumonectomyStarting from $5,000

Lung cancer is a disease which not only demands time for proper treatment and recovery but also great financial inputs. Cancer treatment is costly around the world, be it lung cancer treatment or any other.

This cost can be even more extravagant if the patient lives in one of the developed countries such as the US, UK, or other European countries. In such a scenario, the patient is most likely to travel to another country who offer good quality treatment at a low cost. There are a large number of lung cancer patients who prefer to come to India for treatment because of availability of some of the finest surgeons and low cost of medical treatment.

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Factors affecting the Cost of Lung Cancer Surgery in India

The cost can depend on several factors:
  • Treatment procedure
  • Technology used
  • Severity
  • Location
  • Pre- and after care
  • Services included
The hospitals take care of proper planning when it comes to medical treatment. This includes travel and stays arrangement, coordination between the patient, surgeon, and paramedical staff, local travel arrangements, follow-up planning, and first appointment bookings.

Types of lung cancer:

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Each of these types need different treatment approach:

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

This type of lung cancer accounts for 80 – 85 percent of all lung cancers. There are three major subtypes of NSCLC: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. These subtypes are classified on the basis of cells the cancer start from, but they are grouped together under Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer because the treatment and prognoses for these are mostly similar.

According to the American Society of Cancer:

  • Adenocarcinoma: This is the most common form of lung cancer in both men and women. Adenocarcinomas are the type of cancers that start in the cells in the lungs that secrete mucus and other substances. It usually occurs in the outer parts of the lung and has better chances of being diagnosed before it spreads to other parts of the body. Adenocarcinoma is mostly found in people who are active or former smokers, but adenocarcinoma is also the most common lung cancer that is found in non-smokers as well. This cancer type is reported to be more common in women than in men. Also, compared to other types of lung cancer, it is more likely to occur in younger people.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: It accounts for about 25 percent of lung cancers. This type of cancer begins in the squamous cells, the flat cells lining the inside part of the airways in the lungs. Squamous cell carcinomas are mostly linked to people who have a history of smoking. They are often found in the central part of the lungs and near to the bronchus, the main airway.
  • Large cell carcinoma: These account for 10 percent of all Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. This type of carcinoma can occur in any part of the lung. Large cell carcinoma are known to grow and spread to other parts quickly. This is why they tend to be harder to treat. Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma, a subtype of large cell carcinoma, grows rapidly and is very similar to small cell lung cancer.

Other less common subtypes of NSCLC include adenosquamous carcinoma and sarcomatoid carcinoma.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

SCLC accounts for about 10% to 15% of all lung cancers. This type of lung cancer often grows and spreads at a faster rate compared to NSCLC. Most people with SCLC are diagnosed at a stage where the cancer has already spread to other body parts. As small cell lung cancer grows quickly, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are generally involved in the treatment plan. This cancer is known to return or reoccur at some point.

It can be stages as:

Limited stage: In this, the lung cancer is located on one side of the chest. It involves only one part of the lung and surrounding lymph nodes.

Extensive stage: In this lung cancer stage, the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the chest or distant organs of the body.

Lung Cancer Diagnosis

The surgeon considers a number of factors before making a diagnosis such as:

  • Location and size of the tumor
  • Age of the patient
  • Presence of any other medical condition
  • Severity of symptoms
  • History of smoking
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals and gases

Based on the above factors followed by a physical examination, the oncologist may advise a number of tests, which may or may not include biopsy, sputum cytology, bone marrow biopsy, thoracoscopy, thoracotomy, needle aspiration, bronchoscopy, and thoracentesis.

Along with these diagnostic tests, imaging scans are also suggested to detect the cancer. The following investigations can be carried out:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Bone scan

Best Lung Cancer Treatment Options

A suitable treatment plan is formulated for each lung cancer patient, depending on several factors, including:

  • type of lung cancer: non-small-cell lung cancer or small-cell lung cancer
  • Size and location of the cancer
  • Stage: how aggressive is the cancer
  • Overall health of the patient
  • Patient’s personal preference and doctor’ recommendation

The treatment can be very challenging as it includes more than just a routine medical diagnosis, surgery, and hospitalized care. Patients need moral support from their family, friends, and peers to recover early along with the professional help and advice from a consultant. The options for lung cancer treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

  • Surgery –

There are 3 types of surgery options for lung cancer treatment:

Lobectomy – In this surgery, one or more large parts of the lung, referred to as lobes, are removed. The surgeon will recommend this operation if the cancer is localized to one section of a lung.

Pneumonectomy – The entire lung is removed during this surgery. This type of surgery is recommended when the lung cancer is present in the middle part of the lung or it has spread through the entire lung.

Wedge resection or segmentectomy – In this surgery, only a small piece of the lung is removed. Not all patients are suitable for this procedure. It is usually recommended by the doctor when the cancer is an early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer, which means it is small and restricted to one area of the lung. 

The surgery is performed with general anesthesia and patient remains unconscious during the procedure. After the operation, they are shifted to a recovery room and then to a normal hospital room for recovery.

The two primary types of radiation therapy used for lung cancer treatment are:

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT): In this, a high doses of radiation is delivered to lung cancer cells from outside the body.

Internal radiation: A high doses of radiation is delivered using implants that are placed inside or close to the tumor in the body. High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a popular method for this type of radiation treatment.

The best lung cancer hospitals in India offer advanced methods of radiation delivery such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). These are precise targeting technique to deliver radiation to the tumor while preventing damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. This lowers the chances of complications and side effects of treatment. It is primarily used for an early stage, localized disease.

Many patients with a small localized lung cancer might not be suitable candidates for a surgery. A radiation treatment with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) can be beneficial for these patients. The patients who may not candidates for surgery and eligible for SBRT include the patients who are old, have chronic heart failure, or those taking blood thinning drug that increases their risk of bleeding during surgery.

In a SBRT treatment, many small, focused beams of radiation are used to track the lung tumor along with its movement with respiration. During a treatment session, the doctor delivers very high doses of radiation therapy precisely targeting the lung cancer. The radiation is typically given over several (3-5) sessions.

Other treatment options include: 

  • Adjuvant therapy: This refers to the therapy given after lung cancer surgery to minimize the risk of lung cancer recurrence. Adjuvant therapies include the following procedures:
  • Chemotherapy: A medical oncologist will prescribe you the drugs to kill the remaining cancer cells. This therapy may also damage the normal cells of the body and potentially result in side effects.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is intended to abandon the action of abnormal proteins responsible for the gene mutation.
  • Combination therapy: Combination therapy is generally advised. It involves a combination of the above-mentioned therapies to get more positive results and ensure early recovery.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Lung 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.

Stages of Lung Cancer

Stage 1: Cancer has not spread outside the lung. Tumor less than 3 cm. There are no metastasis.

Stage 2: Cancer starts spreading and is less than 6 cm. Single metastasis are observed.

Stage 3: Tumor more than 6 cm. Metastasis starts spreading in the lymph nodes

Stage 4: Cancer spreads to both the lungs along with the surrounding area and other body parts.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer seems to attack an individual silently. Therefore, there are not many visible symptoms of the disease at an early stage.

The patients are advised to contact their doctor immediately if they observe any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent cough
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Pain in chest, shoulder, and back
  • Wheezing
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Change in color of the mucus
  • Blood in a cough

Lung Cancer Risk Factors

Lung Cancer Risk Factors The following factors are known to raise the risk of lung cancer in an individual:
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Exposure to radon, arsenic, or asbestos
  • Air pollution
  • Family history of the disease

Lung Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Although rarely, but some people may experience pronounces lung cancer treatment side effects. Some of these side effects include

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores
  • Pleural effusion
  • Nerve damage or disturbances
  • Skin problems
  • Dysphagia.

Lung Cancer Treatment In India – Is India A Good Destination For The Treatment?

It is one of the most prevalent malignancies in India and across the globe. Around 2.3 million new cases of this condition are recorded every year worldwide and around 1.7 million deaths per year take place because of it.

These numbers are expected to rise by about 60 percent over the next two decades. But with the advancement in the technologies and drug discoveries, treatment is expected to become easier and more successful.

Treatment in India is a sigh of relief for patients from around the world. There are two reasons for that. First, the quality of treatment available in India is at par with any other leading international facility. Second, the treatment cost in India is one of the lowest in the world. This is the reason why India has emerged as one of the favorite destinations in the world for medical treatment, especially when it comes to lung cancer treatment.

About 80 percent of the cases result due to active or passive smoking. A non-smoker sharing space with a smoker has relatively 30 percent greater chances of getting affected by lung cancer. Exposure to the polluted environment is yet another leading cause of it. Some toxic elements such as arsenic and radon also increase the risk of lung cancer. But it is treatable regardless of its cause or the stage of cancer.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) about Lung Cancer Treatment in India

Q. What are the types of lung cancers?

The two main types of lung cancers are: small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer.

The non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is known to be the more common type of lung cancer. This type accounts for almost 85% of lung cancers. It includes a group of cancers that grows and spread less rapidly in comparison to small-cell lung cancer.

Whereas, the small-cell lung cancer accounts for only 15% of all lung cancers. The cancer cells are small, but they multiply rapidly and form large size tumours. These cells can eventually spread throughout the body. Smoking is often the cause for this cancer.

Q. What happens if the tumour is inoperable?

Surgery is one option of lung cancer treatment that may not be possible in every case, depending on the location, size and stage of tumour. In such cases, other options such as chemotherapy, radiation and new techniques such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy may be used. The aim is to shrink or even kill the cancer cells, slow their growth, and to help with symptoms.

Q. Are there any screening tests for lung cancer?

Lung cancer screening is available for people who are at risk of having the disease but do not show any symptoms. Screening tests are helpful in detecting cancer early and at this stage it is most treatable.

For lung cancer screening, the commonly used test is low-dose computed tomography or LDCT, a type of X-ray test. People who are recommended for a lung cancer screening test have at least 30 packs of cigarettes (or similar) a year or a smoking history. Basically, it is the number of years the person has smoked multiplied by the number of packs smoked every day. Also, people between the ages of 55 and 74 who quit smoking less than 15 years prior are eligible for the test.

Q. Are the nodules found in lung always the cancerous type?

No, a majority of lung nodules are not cancerous. Nodules are suspicious spots or masses that are detected in the lung using X-rays or other diagnostics tests. An accurate diagnosis is important to determining if a person has cancer and what type of treatment options will be used.

Q. Can second-hand smoke also cause lung cancer?

Second-hand smoke is the smoke you inhale when the other person smokes near you. It is harmful for a number of reasons and inhaling second-hand smoke also increases the risk of cancer slightly. However, it can be minimized by restricting your exposure to smoke and by asking others to smoke outside.

Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
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.

The cancer hospitals in India are known all around the world for their quality of medical treatment at an extremely affordable cost. The presence of trained and experienced surgeons and oncologists and the latest treatment and diagnostic technologies are some of the reasons why the hospitals in India have been able to carve a name for themselves.

In the present day, India has more than 200 hospitals for lung cancer treatment with all the modern facilities. They strive to provide the best healthcare services and personalized treatment for cancer to cater to the needs of patients from abroad and from within India.

The lung cancer treatment hospitals in India offer all types of treatment facilities, including surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other procedures conducted for the treatment.

Moreover, the hospitals in India are at par with any international healthcare facility when it comes to the quality of medical treatment and success rates of the surgery.

The top-notch lung cancer treatment hospitals are located in all the major cities, including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore. These hospitals treat the patient as per a personalized treatment plan, developed as per the individualized needs of the patient.

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