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Cancer Treatment in India

Cancer is a cluster term of nearly 200 different types of cancers. It can originate from almost anywhere inside the body. Cancer cells are formed when the abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. This phenomenon can be initiated when gene changes make one cell or a few cells begin to grow and multiply too much causing a growth called a tumor.

Because of the scientists’ relentless efforts, now there are several types of treatments available for cancer worldwide. However, it entirely depends on the type of cancer you have and how advanced it has spread inside you.

cancer cell diagram

Although some cancer patient goes through only one treatment at a time. However, most people have a combination of treatments, like surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. It is important for the patient to understand what treatment needed for cancer. It may appear very difficult and confusing but, ta thourough discussion with the concerned doctor may help you feel comfortable.

Cancer Treatment Options in India

  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Stem-Cell Transplant
  • Precision Medicine

Cancer statistics in India

According to GLOBOCAN 2018 data, there were 11,57,294 new cancer cases in India in both men and women, 7,84,821 deaths and 22,58,208 people living with cancer (within 5 years of diagnosis).

Every year India reports more than a million new cancer cases. Among them, half million deaths happen due to the ignorance of the disease.

  • One woman dies of cervical cancer in every 8 minutes in India.
  • For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in the country, accordingly to National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research (NICPR).

Top cancers that affect population

Breast Cancer

Symptoms – A painless lump in the breast, a sudden change in shape and size of the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple, nipple retraction are some of the important signs.

Screening tool to detect early breast cancer- mammography, Self-breast examination (SBE)

The mammography screening should be started at the age of 40 years. Self-breast examination (SBE) should be taught to every female and encouraged from the age 20 years.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer occurs when the abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. This cancer can be treated completely only if it is detected at an early stage.

Diagnosis – PAP test.

Symptoms of cervical cancer – bleeding from Vagina which is abnormal i.e. bleeding after menstruation cycle, menopause or after sex.
Pain in the lower belly or pelvis and pain during sex are other symptoms.

The PAP test is the only way to detect cervical cancer and a sample of biopsy tissue is also taken.

Oral Cancer

The main risk to develop the oral cancer is tobacco and alcohol consumption. The detection of oral cancer at an initial stage has led to significant decrease in death rates and sufferings.

Symptoms – pain in throat, long-standing ulcers in the mouth, loosening of teeth, change in voice and difficulty in chewing and swallowing.

Regular self-examination of the oral cavity is advised to people who eat or smoke tobacco.

The stage of the disease depends on several factors, including the size of the primary lesion, local extension, lymph node involvement and evidence of distant metastasis. Tumor size, the organ or tissue affected, and the extent of spread are considered to be the best indicators of the patient’s prognosis.

Treatment of Cancer

What you should do –

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions.
  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Write down your family’s history of cancer.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you’re taking.
  • Consider taking a family member or friend along.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What type of cancer do I have?
  • What stage is my cancer?
  • Will I need additional tests?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Can treatments cure my cancer?
  • If my cancer can’t be cured, what can I expect from treatment?
  • What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
  • Is there one treatment you feel is best for me?
  • How soon do I need to begin treatment?
  • How will treatment affect my daily life?
  • Can I continue working during treatment?
  • Are there any clinical trials or experimental treatments available to me?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I manage them during my cancer treatment?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • What will determine whether I should plan for follow-up visits?

Top Cancer Hospitals in India

  1. Tata Memorial hospital, Mumbai
  2. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research centre, Delhi
  3. Indraprastha Apollo hospital, Delhi
  4. Fortis Malar hospital, Chennai
  5. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital, Mumbai
  6. Apollo hospital, Chennai
  7. KIDWAI Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore
  8. Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai
  9. Fortis Hospital, Mumbai
  10. AIIMS, Delhi
  11. Dr Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
  12. Gleneagles Global Hospital, Chennai
  13. V S Hospital, Chennai
  14. BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bangalore
  15. Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Bangalore
  16. Columbia Asia Hospital, Bangalore
  17. Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Bangalore
  18. Yashoda Cancer Institute, Hyderabad
  19. Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, Hyderabad
  20. Continental Hospital, Hyderabad

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