Breast Cancer Treatment In India
Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know
- Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Annual mammograms are recommended for women 40 and older and for younger women with specific breast cancer risk factors.
- Warning signs and symptoms for breast cancer can vary greatly. If you experience any changes in the breast, nipple or underarm, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- The most common genes associated with breast cancer risk are BRCA1 and BRCA2.
- There is a 98% survival rate for breast cancer that is detected at an early stage.
What are Causes of Breast Cancer?
The exact cause of Breast Cancer is still unknown and there are no fixed causes for breast cancer. Myths in identifying the causes of breast cancer are more prevalent than the real cause. However, some of the causes that have been collectively associated with breast cancer are:
- Age: The chance of breast cancer depends on age, as the person gets older the chances of it are more.
- Inheritance: Family history of close relative like mother, sister and daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer increases the risk factor.
- Early menses or menopause: Early start onset of menses and early menopause are also associated with breast cancer.
- Radioactivity: Exposure to radioactive rays is carcinogenic and increases the chances of breast cancer.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: Using hormone replacement therapy might also cause it.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals: Working in a chemical factory that uses harmful chemicals like Organochlorines.
- Nullyparity or Late childbearing: Nullyparity or Late childbearing also appear to be a minor risk factor in the development of breast cancer.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
To determine the cause of any signs or symptoms you may have, your doctor will perform a careful physical exam that includes a personal and family medical history, as well as questions about your current overall health status. An examination that includes the following will also be done:
- Palpation. Carefully feeling the lump and the tissue around it its size, its texture, and whether it moves easily. Benign lumps often feel different from cancerous ones.
- Nipple discharge examination. Fluid may be collected from spontaneous nipple discharge and then sent to the lab to look for cancer cells. Most nipple secretions are not cancer, as an injury, infection, or benign tumor may cause discharge. For women who are at high risk for breast cancer, a procedure called ductal lavage may be used. Ductal lavage is a procedure that collects cells from inside the milk ductal system the location where most breast cancers begin.
In addition to a physical examination by your doctor, imaging tests will be performed. Imaging tests may include one or more of the following:
- Diagnostic mammography
- Digital mammography (also called full-field digital mammography, or FFDM)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Treatments for Breast Cancer in India
Surgery is a common treatment for breast cancer. It’s done to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Women have many surgical options. The type of surgery done depends on:
- The size and location of the breast lump or tumor
- The type the breast cancer
- If the cancer has spread within the breast or has spread outside of the breast to the lymph nodes, or to other parts of the body
- The size of the breast
- The woman’s preference
There are several types of breast surgery. The main types include:
Lymphedema Following a Mastectomy
2. Radiation Therapy:
Radiation therapy is a breast cancer treatment option that often uses X-rays to kill cancer cells. There are several ways to give radiation therapy to the breast cancer cells. Radiation therapy is also called radiotherapy. Its goal is to kill or shrink cancer cells.
When might radiation therapy be used for breast cancer?
Radiation is most often used along with other breast cancer treatments, like surgery or chemotherapy. Your doctor may advise radiation if either of the following apply to you:
- You have an early stage or locally advanced breast cancer. You would get radiation after surgery. This is called adjuvant treatment. Radiation is often used after surgery to remove the cancer and nearby tissue (breast-conserving surgery). It is sometimes used after surgery to remove the entire breast (mastectomy). The goal is to kill cancer cells that can’t be seen, but may have been left behind after surgery. This lowers the chance the cancer will come back. Radiation can be directed at the breast or at the breast and lymph nodes. After mastectomy it can be directed at the chest wall and scars. And it may also include the lymph nodes in the chest, armpit, and collarbone (clavicle).
- You have metastatic breast cancer. This means the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, such as the bones or brain. The goal of radiation in this case is mainly to ease cancer symptoms. This is sometimes called palliative treatment.
Chemotherapy uses anticancer medicines to kill cancer cells. The medicines are made to attack and kill cancer cells that grow quickly. Some normal cells also grow quickly. Because of this, chemotherapy can also harm those cells. This can cause side effects.
The medicines travel all through your body in your bloodstream. They may stop cell growth, kill cancer cells, or help your immune system attack the cells.
When might chemotherapy be used for breast cancer?
Chemotherapy may be able to cure breast cancer. This means the tumor disappears and doesn’t grow back. If a cure isn’t possible, chemotherapy may help keep the cancer from growing or spreading. If the cancer is advanced and can’t be controlled, chemotherapy may help ease symptoms caused by cancer and improve your quality of life. A doctor with special training in cancer treatment (oncologist) will talk to you about the goals of chemotherapy and the best treatment plan for you.
Your doctor may advise chemotherapy in any of these situations:
- Before surgery. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be used to shrink the tumor so that it’s smaller. This may allow you to have surgery to remove just part of the breast (breast-conserving surgery), instead of the entire breast (mastectomy).
- After surgery. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy helps keep any cancer cells that are left from growing and spreading. Whether your doctor advises it depends on the size of the tumor, if it has spread to lymph nodes, and other factors. Chemotherapy is often given after surgery to remove breast cancer, and may be given every 2 or 3 weeks.
- When the breast cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Chemotherapy travels around the body to kill cancer cells. So it can be used to kill cancer cells that have spread. How long this treatment lasts depends on how much the tumors shrink.
4. Hormone Therapy
Hormones are chemicals in the body that help the body function. Some of them help control how normal, healthy cells grow. For some types of breast cancer, female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can also cause breast cancer cells to grow. In these cases, hormone therapy is used to help prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of breast cancer. Recurrence is when the cancer comes back after treatment. There are different kinds of hormone treatments used for breast cancer. Each type works a bit differently. They all have the same goal of stopping hormones from getting to the tumor.
How Life changes after Breast Cancer Surgery?
After a breast cancer surgery on your armpit, your nurse will show you exercises to help you recover. Do them until you have full movement back in your arm and shoulder.
Don’t lift or carry anything heavy, or drive while your scars heal up. Until your surgeon has given you the nod, don’t do any housework (such as vacuuming, mopping or cleaning) with your affected arm. If you have had a mastectomy, you’ll have a lightweight artificial breast shape (prosthesis) to put inside your bra. After about 4 to 6 weeks you will be ready for your permanent prosthesis. Many types of artificial breast shapes are available free on the NHS. Your artificial breast shape sits inside your bra. Women who have had part of a breast removed can use a partial prosthesis or shell prosthesis.
Don’t lift or carry anything heavy, or drive, while your scars heal up. After wide local excision this is likely to be after about 2 weeks. After mastectomy this may take longer. Check with your surgeon or breast care nurse when it is okay to do heavier work (such as vacuuming or shopping) with your affected arm. But do carry on with your arm exercises and some light exercise. It will help you recover more quickly. What you can manage will vary, depending on how much surgery you’ve had. Some women find even filling a kettle too heavy at first. The main thing is to take it easy and stop if you feel any strain.
What precautions to be taken after Breast Cancer Surgery?
The procedures for Breast Cancer Surgery are typically an outpatient procedure. You will be instructed to do the following:
- Keep the surgical area clean and dry.
- Keep a bandage over the surgical site and may have one or more tubes to drain blood and fluids that collect during the healing process. You must empty the drains, measure the fluid, and report any problems that your doctor may tell you to watch out for.
- Avoid vigorous activity for about four weeks, or as directed by your doctor.
- Try not to lift anything heavier than five pounds for about a week, or longer if directed by your doctor.
- Wear a well-fitting, very supportive bra 24 hours a day for the first week.
What is Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment and Surgery in India?
Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India
Let us provide the latest cost for breast cancer treatment in India for 2018
The breast cancer treatment cost in India varies from INR 9,00,000 to INR 20,00,000. Let us give you a clear picture about the breast cancer treatment cost in private and government hospitals. The below table shows the updated cost for the year 2018.
For stage 0, 1 & 2:
Types of Hospital Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India (Approx.)
Private Hospitals (1) – Expensive INR 9,00,000 – INR 10,00,000 (USD 13,165 – USD 14,628)
Private Hospitals (2)-Moderately Expensive INR 6,00,000 – INR 7,00,000 (USD 8,778 – USD 10,241)
Government Hospitals INR 2,50,000 – INR 3,50,000 (USD 3,657 – USD 5,120)
From the above table, we can come to a conclusion that on an average, breast cancer treatment cost in India varies from hospital to hospital. If you are planning to seek a breast cancer treatment in India from an expensive private hospital (1), the cost would be higher for the whole treatment for the stage 0, stage 1 and stage 2 cancer.
The charges would range between INR 9,00,000 – INR 10,00,000 (USD 13,165 – USD 14,628). And, if you are opting for a private hospital which is moderately expensive (2), the cost for the whole treatment for the stage 0, stage 1 and stage 2 would range from INR 6,00,000 – INR 7,00,000 (USD 8,778 – USD 10,241). The government hospital would charge pretty less than the private hospitals i.e. INR 2,50,000 – INR 3,50,000 (USD 3,657 – USD 5,120).
For stage 3 & 4 :
Types of Hospital Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India (Approx.)
Private Hospitals (1) – Expensive INR 19,00,000 – INR 20,00,000 (USD 27,795 – USD 29,259)
Private Hospitals (2)-Moderately Expensive INR 13,00,000 – INR 14,00,000 (USD 19,020 – USD 20,483)
Government Hospitals INR 6,00,000 – INR 7,00,000 (USD 8,778 – USD 10,241)
If you want to seek treatment for stage 3 and stage 4, the breast cancer treatment cost in India gets doubled as the number of cycles is more for chemo cycles and targeted therapy. As explained above the same goes here to.
For a private hospital (Expensive) (1), the cost are extremely high for the whole treatment of stage 3 and stage 4 cancer i.e. INR 19,00,000 – INR 20,00,000 (USD 27,795 – USD 29,259). And for a private hospital (moderately expensive) (2), the costs will be average for the whole treatment of stage 3 and stage 4 i.e. INR 13,00,000 – INR 14,00,000 (USD 19,020 – USD 20,483). Further, in a government hospital the cost will be pretty less as compared to the private ones i.e. INR 6,00,000 – INR 7,00,000 (USD 8,778 – USD 10,241).
Breast Cancer Treatments in India
Let us give you some insights about the breast cancer treatments available in India.
The decisions regarding the breast cancer treatment in India is made with the mutual understanding of both (patient and doctor) after taking into consideration the current stage of breast cancer.
The treatment is done by the following methods:
1. Surgical Treatment : The surgical treatment involves breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy. Also, in BCS only the tissue affected by cancer plus a node of normal tissue is removed. In surgical treatment, the primary goal is to remove cancer and determine its stage. With BCS (also known as partial mastectomy or lumpectomy), only cancerous tissue and a rim of normal tissue (tumor margin) are removed. Hence, BCS is generally not an option for those diagnosed with a high tumor-to-breast ratio.
2. Radiation Therapy : In a simple term, the radiation therapy is nothing but a method of killing the cancer cells from the breast which a surgery fails to kill. It is done with the help of high energy beams. Radiation therapy can be used as external beam radiation, brachytherapy, or a combination of both. This method is suggested depending on the type, stage, and location of the tumor, as well as patient characteristics, and doctor and patient preference.
3. Systemic Therapy : Let us shed some light that the systemic therapy is a drugs/substance which travels in the bloodstream and affects all parts of the body. And the process which can be used for systemic therapy includes Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.
a. Chemotherapy : According to the research done by American Cancer Society, it has been found that combinations of drugs are more effective than one drug alone for treatment of early-stage breast cancer. Depending on the combination of drugs used i.e. adjuvant and neoadjuvant, chemotherapy is usually given for 3 to 6 months. The treatment by both the drugs is most effective if the dose is complete and given in the assigned time frame without any delay.
b. Hormone (anti-estrogen) therapy : When a hormone is produced by the ovaries in addition to other tissues called as Estrogen, promoting the growth of breast cancer cells. The patients with these tumors can be treated with hormone therapy to lower the estrogen levels or block the effects of estrogen on the growth of cancer cells. These drugs are different from menopausal hormone therapies, which actually increase hormone levels.
c. Targeted therapy : In simple terms, targeted therapy are performed to block the growth of cancer cells by killing the specifically targeted cells which can results in the growth of the tumor, instead of just killing the rapidly dividing cells (e.g. with traditional chemotherapy). So, target therapies are expected to be more effective than older forms of treatments and are less harmful to normal cells.
Best Breast Cancer Hospitals in India
1. HCG Cancer Hospital, Bangalore
Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), India’s largest provider of cancer care, is at the forefront of the battle against cancer. Through its network of 18 comprehensive cancer centers, spread across India, HCG has brought advanced cancer care to the doorstep of millions of people
HCG vows to always be at the forefront of Cancer research and treatment. It is due to this dedication that our team of trained and experienced radiation oncologists thinks of their work as a personal investment.HCG is known for pioneering a series of firsts:
- Asia’s first bloodless Bone Marrow Transplant was performed by our experts.
- India’s first Computer Assisted Tumour Navigation Surgery (CATS) was brought in by us.
- HCG is the first hospital in India to introduce Flattening Free Filter (FFF) mode technology for treatment.
- It is also the first in Asia to have treated a patient with 3D radio-guided surgery – Surgic Eye.
- We introduced biological reconstruction to treat bone cancer in India.
- Cyberheart – First hospital in India to remove a tumour in the left ventricle of the heart through CyberKnife.
- We were the first in India to save a patient’s vocal cord through the world’s most advanced laser technology.
- It is the first hospital in India to introduce high precision, Trans-Oral, Laser Surgery (TOLS), endoscopically.
- HCG has conducted the largest number of Breast Conservation Surgeries in India.
- It was the first in India to introduce Hyperthermia as a form of treatment.
- HCG is the first hospital in India to introduce TomoTherapy H®.
2. Cytecare Cancer Hospital, Bangalore
The word ‘cyte’ is derived from the Greek word, ‘kytos’, which means cell. We represent care at a cellular level.
Our principle is, Fighting Cancer the Right Way’. Cytecare provides highly specialised, modern diagnostic services, treatment and care for cancer. We believe and understand that every cancer is different and hence, specialised treatment is necessary to be provided for each. We are practitioners of researched cancer care methodologies, owing to which, our multidisciplinary team of clinicians is strongly guided by national as well as global protocols such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), National Health Service (NHS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Tata Memorial Hospital. Cytecare promotes deeper understanding of individuals and their treatments.
Organ-site Focus and Specialist Oncologists:
No two cancers are the same, and the effect of each type of cancer varies as per body organs. This can be attributed to genetics, environment, lifestyle, certain pre-existing conditions, among other factors and the best cancer treatment requires intricate understanding of all these factors. At Cytecare, we have a dedicated team of oncologists, super-specialised in the cancers of particular organs.
Standardised Global Guidelines and Tumour Board
We provide cancer care based on, and drawn from, globally recognised, gold standard guidelines such as, NCCN, ESMO, NHS, ICMR and Tata Memorial Hospital. Cytecare has also established a Tumour Board – a team of multidisciplinary specialists, who use individual expertise to determine effective treatments, a concept being taken by some of the world’s best cancer hospitals.
Holistic wellness has a deep impact on clinical outcomes, encouraging discussion on health beliefs, concerns, preferences, and addressing questions through clinical interactions. We insist on empathy and compassion between medical staff and patients, considering the emotional aspect of cancer and its impact, not just on the patients, but also their families. We provide emotional support & counseling, while also providing ancillary services to make an improved quality of life possible.
Cancer care is a constantly evolving discipline. Recognising a gap in the need and availability, Cytecare is focused on clinical research to ensure continuous, better clinical outcomes. The best cancer hospitals in India are becoming research-oriented, seeking evidence-based protocols, while continuously updating themselves about the latest advancements. This gives rise to an evidence-based, scientific approach to treatment.
3. GLENEAGLES GLOBAL HEALTH CITY, PERUMBAKKAM, CHENNAI
Gleneagles Global Health City, the sprawling 21-acre facility located in Perumbakkam, Chennai is the largest facility of Gleneagles Global Hospitals India. With a capacity of over 1000 beds and accreditations from leading agencies, the facility is Asia’s most trusted and leading Multi-Organ Transplant Centre. The hospital has undertaken several path-breaking Liver, Neuro, Heart, Lung and Kidney procedures. It is recognized by several international and national level accrediting agencies. World-class infrastructure, dedicated staff and a commitment for medical excellence are the USPs of this facility. The hospital has several achievements to its credit and continues to work on several pioneering procedures.
Gleneagles Global Hospitals has multi-super speciality hospitals in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. The brand is the most preferred hospital group for multi-organ transplants in Asia region. The parent entity of Gleneagles Global Hospitals is IHH Healthcare, a leading premium integrated healthcare provider with a network of 84 hospitals and more than 16,000 licensed beds. It is one of the largest healthcare groups in the world by market capitalisation and is listed in the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia and Main Board of SGX-ST. IHH is a leading player in the home markets of Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and India, and in their key growth markets of China and Hong Kong.
The world’s most advanced linear accelerator for radiotherapy delivering most accurate & precise radiotherapy for Cancer treatment.
With a revolutionary technology in the diagnostic imaging, this MRI machine renders ultra resolution imaging with enhanced field of view. The noise reduction property of this machine helps reduce the claustrophobic sensation for patients during an MRI scan.
This is one of the cutting-edge gadgets with smart sensors, which helps the doctors in locating the point of therapy on the body with ultra fine precision. It is mainly used by an interventional radiologist for selective procedures.
4. Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad
Yashoda Cancer Institute has grown to become one of the Center of Excellence in India. With three dedicated, and independent units (Somajiguda, Secunderabad & Malakpet), Yashoda Cancer Institute caters to more than 16,000 new cancer patients every year from all over India and neighbouring countries.
Multidisciplinary Approach: The strength of the Cancer Institute lies in our ability to offer all treatment modalities under one roof. Patients are seen and evaluated in multimodality clinics such as Head and Neck, Breast and Gynecology by a team of specialists in each malignancy. Treatment decisions are then made in multidisciplinary tumour boards where these specialists sit together and discuss the plan of treatment. The emphasis is on combining all modalities of treatment in the right combination to achieve the best results, while minimizing the side effects. The main focus is on organ conservation surgery to improve quality of life without affecting the chances of cure.
The Institutes have brought in latest technologies and performed advanced procedures.
- Treated World’s largest number (10000) of cancer patients with RapidArc Technology
- First in India to implement 4D gated RapidArc for the treatment of moving tumors
- First to introduce the Triple F Radiosurgery (C-Series Linear Accelerator)
- First in world to use RapidArc based Stereotactic Radio-surgery in the treatment of Arteriovenous Malfunction
- First in India to implement 4D gated RapidArc for the treatment of moving tumors
- Over 25 publications on Physics & clinical applications of RapidArc technology in leading American & European Journals
- Being pioneers in implementing advanced technology, Yashoda International Radiation services had been started in 2010 & successfully imparted technology transfer to countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia & Russia
- Involved in clinical research collaboration with leading cancer institutes like IOSL (Switzerland), VU medical University (Amsterdam) and with leading manufacturers like Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, USA), and IBA Dosimetry Germany for developing newer techniques for High Precision Radiation treatment
- Exclusive High Dose True Beams are available to eradicate cranial/extra cranial tumors using 4-Dimensional image guided gated RapidArc based SRS/ SBRT
- ARIA-11 Higher 64-Bit operations system Platform upgrade for a paperless Oncology Department – Green Department
- As a part of research collaboration with Varian Medical System we are involved in developing Auto contouring smart segmentation software for delineating Target Volume & Critical structures
5. Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi
At Fortis, we are committed to putting our patients first to deliver the best possible cancer care. From diagnosis to treatment to recovery, our teams of experts are here to help you and your caregivers during all stages of your cancer journey. Our department provides access to state-of-the-art therapies and comprehensive cancer care offering leading-edge medical, surgical and radiation oncology treatment options, as well as access to specialized research and diagnostic services.
The goal of any cancer treatment is to eliminate the cancer and prevent or reduce the chance of recurrence in the future. The various types of cancer therapy may be used alone or in combinations, depending on the type of cancer and other factors, such as stage of tumor, and your medical condition.
Comprehensive Cancer Support
We are committed to improving the experience of all our patients and families and offer treatment and services to help support you and your loved ones through your cancer treatment and recovery process.
6. BLK Cancer Care, Delhi
BLKCC, with state of the art equipment, facilities and experienced, faculty & staff, is wholly committed to highly personalized and comprehensive cancer care. Patient centric focus, multidisciplinary approach, personalized, cost effective solutions with utmost care to all medical needs of the patient coupled with administrative needs are meticulously looked into by a team of experienced medical and administrative teams. Patients are the focus of everything we do at BLKCC informing them of all progress. Our mission is to advance patient care, education and research continuous to change the course of cancer care. The close collaboration between our physician, surgeons, Radiologists, Pathologist and other allied specialty is one of our unique strength enabling us to provide the best care available today to the patient as we work to discover more effective strategies to prevent and cure cancer.
We are best known for our leading edge cancer therapies and we take particular pride in the compassion and dedication of our doctors, nurses and other health care staff.
At BLKCC our sole focus is to cure cancer. We follow the current standards of care and treatment protocols for each type and stage of cancer. The strategies for early diagnosis, treatment management, rehabilitation, pain relief and terminal care have been established in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach for cancer care.
Our doctors have unparalleled expertise in diagnosing and treating all types of cancer and they use the latest technology and the most innovative, advanced therapies to increase the chances of a cure.
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