Advanced colon cancer treatment in India | Colon cancer treatment cost in India
Colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer around the world, with 1.93 million cases in 2020, according to WHO.
However, with the advancement of technology, experience, and new protocols, the survival rates of Colon cancer patients is also increasing.
Though the detection of colon cancer itself is a matter of concern but with the right treatment with the right doctor at the right time, you can beat colon cancer.
Let’s understand from the experience of Mr. Benny, a 56-year-old businessman from Kampala, Uganda. Mr. Benny owns a car showroom in Kampala. He has 2 kids who study in the USA. Benny and his wife both work together living a happy life.
Three years back, Mr. Benny had started observing abnormal constipation and was unable to empty his bowel completely. He had shown to many doctors and taken medicines but the results were temporary.
After four months, Benny’s condition started deteriorating. He also started having stomach pain and observed blood in his stool. Mr. Benny visited a reputed gastroenterologist in Kampala. The doctor physically examined benny and suggested he go for a colonoscopy.
Following the advice, Mr. Benny went for a colonoscopy.
The report shocked him as there were some hints of abnormal growth hinting towards cancer. The treating doctor suggested a few more tests to confirm the doubt and the stage of cancer.
Unfortunately, the test reports confirmed that Mr. Benny had colorectal cancer stage 2.
Mr. Benny and his family were in shock after listening to the cancer news, and were so his employees. Benny’s best friend Samuel suggested that he not take any chance and recommended that he get the treatment done in India.
Samuel regularly visits India for his business trips and also did his hernia surgery in India with MedicoExperts.
Mr. Benny took the contact details from Samuel and got in touch with MedicoExperts. MedicoExperts patient care team collected the soft copy of test reports and arranged the video consultation of Benny with one of the senior doctors from its panel.
The doctor explained the most probable treatment plan to him and mentioned that he would further evaluate with a few more tests in India before zeroing down on the final treatment plan. The doctor also cleared all his doubts regarding the treatment, such as how long the treatment will last if there are any chances of reoccurrence will be able to rejoin his business.
Mr. Benny was convinced with the doctor but he also showed his inclination to get one more opinion before the decision. MedicoExperts team, thereafter, arranged one more video consultation for Mr. Benny with one of the celebrity doctor (who is also the head of a center of excellence in one of the most reputed hospitals in India) from a different city for a second opinion. The treatment plan from this consultation was also the same as the first opinion.
Mr. Benny finally got convinced and showed his willingness to go with a celebrity doctor even if the cost of treatment of the celebrity doctor was much higher.
Fifteen days down the line, Mr. Benny got admitted to the hospital. His sons also arrived the next day from the USA.
A thorough evaluation was done to check the current condition and spread of cancer. The doctor performed the robotic surgery. A partial colectomy was done to remove the colon parts that were cancerous. Surgery was followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
After two months, an evaluation was done once again to validate the outcome of the treatment. And this time, all the reports were in favor of Mr. Benny.
Mr. Benny and his family was very happy to hear that and thanked the doctors, and the MedicoExperts.
This could be your story as well.
Before we move ahead in our discussion, let’s first understand what colon cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is.
Colon cancer is basically a type of cancer that begins at the lower end of the large intestine, which is called the rectum. The colon is also called the large intestine.
If you do not know about the biology of our body, there is no need to worry. Let’s try to understand it with the help of an image. This is a full image of the colon.
Colon cancer begins in the rectum, the lower part of the large intestine. It further moves to other parts of the colon.
In the early stage, it begins as non cancerous polyps. Polyps means non cancerous small lumps of cells on the inner surface of the colon. Non cancerous polyps can be detected with the help of screening.
After the age of 50, there are more chances to develop colon cancer. This is the reason why it is highly recommended to undergo regular screening after the age of 50. So, this is what colon cancer is.
Now, you might be wondering what casues colon cancer.
As of now, science has not found any particular reasons for colon cancer. It may be caused by a mutation in the healthy cells. The reason for mutation is still unknown.
But there are some risk factors, because of which there are high chances of developing colon cancer.
We will discuss those risk factors.
1. Age: People older than 50 years are at higher risk of developing colon cancer. So, regular screening after the age of 50 is required to detect it at an early stage. Even though rates of colon cancer in people younger than 50 is also increasing.
So, it is necessary to go through screening if you find some symptoms.
2. Family history of colon cancer: If you have a family history of colon cancer in direct blood relation, then it is advisable to undergo screening of colon cancer after reaching 50 or before 50 if you feel any symptoms.
3. Low fiber high-fat diet: Colon cancer is related to diet as well. High-fat diets like red meat, processed meat, and low fibers increase the risk of colon cancer. So, it is advisable to maintain a balanced diet.
Apart from these risk factors, there are also other risk factors that may cause colon cancer. Like diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, and smoking.
Now you are now knowing about risk factors associated with colon cancer, you should also be knowing about when to see a doctor.
What are symptoms of colon cancer?
Symptoms may vary from person to person, but here are some common symptoms of colon cancer.
Any of these symptoms remain persistent for a long period, you should visit a doctor and undergo screening as per the advice of the doctor.
In the early stage of cancer, a person may not experience any symptoms as well.
Generally, it is recommended to undergo screening after the age of 50.
But, doctors may recommend screening before age of 50 to consider other risk factors.
After this basic understanding of colon cancer, let’s move to the treatment options for colon cancer in India
How to diagnose and stage colorectal cancer?
First of all, a person with symptoms has to undergo screening.
In the screening, your doctor may prescribe the following tests
Blood test would not directly diagnose colon cancer but it would help in checking health of other related organs like liver or kidney
In the colonoscopy, a long , flexible tube attached with a camera is used to see the entire colon.
Doctors may take samples for further study from the colon, if they find any problematic areas in the colon.
If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, then the doctor may recommend further tests like a CT scan of pelvic and abdominal areas. It helps doctors to check the extent of colon cancer. Upto which extent colon cancer is spread in the body is directly related to the treatment.
The extent of colon cancer helps doctors in deciding appropriate treatment.
The primary goal of surgery is to remove the parts of the colon or rectum with or without the surrounding lymph nodes which are affected by cancer. The types of surgeries performed for colon cancer are as follows:
- Polypectomy: The surgical removal of polyps from the large intestine or colon is known as polypectomy. If your cancer is small, localized, fully contained within a polyp and at a very early stage, it may be completely removed during a colonoscopy by your doctor.
- Endoscopic mucosal resection: Bigger polyps may be eliminated during colonoscopy utilizing special tools in a technique called an endoscopic mucosal resection to remove the polyp and a small amount of the colon’s inner lining.
- Bowel diversion surgery: Bowel diversion surgery allows the stool to leave the body safely when the large intestine is removed or it needs time to heal. The bowel is a general term for any part of the intestine, small or big. Some procedures of bowel diversion (those called ostomy surgery) divert the intestine to an opening in the abdomen where a stoma is made. Attached to the stoma is an ostomy pouch, and worn outside the body to collect stool. Often the ostomy is only momentary, permitting healing of your colon or rectum after surgery.
Through the intervention of robotic surgery, the surgeon can perform colon resection, rectal resection, and rectopexy with improved 3D visualization and maneuverability in difficult-to-access pelvic spaces with smaller and lesser incisions.
Additionally, the improved field of view provided with robotic surgery helps the surgeon minimize trauma to important nerves which enhances the preservation of important life considerations such as urinary and sexual function.
Please visit the robotic surgery page for more information.
The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells is known as chemotherapy. For colon cancer, chemotherapy is suggested after surgery if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or if it is large. This helps kill any remaining cancer cells in the body and also lessens the risk of reoccurrence.
In some cases, chemotherapy is also used before the surgery to shrink the size of the tumor, which helps for easy removal through surgery.
Chemotherapy also helps relieve the symptoms of colon cancer. In many cases, chemotherapy is used in conjecture with other treatment protocols like radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, surgery, etc.
The use of powerful beams of energy sources such as x-rays and proton beams to destroy the cancer cells is- known as radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy is employed before surgery to shrink cancer or to relieve the symptoms when surgery is not an option. For better results, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy.
The use of targeted drug therapy is usually reserved for patients with advanced colon cancer. Targeted drug treatments concentrate on unique abnormalities within cancer cells.
Targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die by blocking those abnormalities.
Please visit the targeted therapy page for more information.
Immunotherapy is the use of a medical drug that enables the immune system to combat cancer. The disease-fighting immune system of your body may not combat your cancer, as the cancer cells release proteins that prevent the cells of the immune system from recognizing the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy works by disrupting that process. A sample for the cancer cells will be evaluated to understand whether this treatment can be effective. Moreover, immunotherapy is usually reserved for advanced colon cancer cases.
Please visit the immunotherapy page for more information.
In the early stage of colon cancer,
Polyps removal during colonoscopy
Doctors may remove polyps during colonoscopy.
If Cancer is found localized within polyps, then doctors can remove it during colonoscopy itself.
Laparoscopic or Robotic Surgery
If the doctor is unable to remove it during colonoscopy, then laparoscopy surgery or robotics surgery is carried out to remove cancer cells.
Advanced stage colon cancer means the cancer is spread outside the rectum to nearby colon parts.
Advanced-stage colon cancer requires more treatment.
First treatment is
Partial colectomy means the removal of colon parts that contain cancerous cells.
The surgeon removes that particular part which is having cancerous cells and then reconnects healthy parts of the colon.
The surgery can also be performed in a minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic way.
Colostomy means creating an alternative opening in the abdomen wall to pass stool out of the body.
Colostomy has to be carried out, if reconnecting healthy colon parts is not possible.
Colostomy may be temporary in nature to let rectum heal after surgery or in some cases it may be permanent.
In more advanced stages of colon cancer, cancerous cells are spread to distant body parts.
In these advanced stages of cancer, surgeons recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy or immunotherapy.
As per the condition of the patient, the surgeon takes a call to the particular therapy.
Which is the best country for colon cancer treatment?
When choosing a country for colon cancer treatment patient needs to consider various aspects such as how good the healthcare system in the country is.
Advanced surgical technologies such as robotic surgery are used to treat cancer. You also need to consider the success ratios and survival ratios of the patients.
You should also consider the cost of treatment and stay in that country. Other logistic factors such as flights, transportation, food, and accommodation are also worth considering.
UK, USA, Germany, and India have the best healthcare facilities and are leading in success and survival ratios. The success rates and treatment facilities are almost the same. But the treatment cost varies from country to country, and the cost of the treatment in the developed country is higher.
If you choose India the cost is half or less without compromise in the outcome.
How to choose the best hospital or colon cancer treatment in India?
You must select a cancer hospital that is well-known for treating all types of cancer.
A well-known cancer hospital is equipped with cutting-edge technology and employs the best and most experienced doctors including medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists to treat all types of cancers and provide the highest level of care.
The hospital must have a proven record of success and survival rates.
MedicoExperts panel was created on the above criteria.
How to choose the best oncologist for your colon cancer treatment?
Choosing an oncologist is an important decision and some of the critical aspects a patient must consider while choosing the oncologist.
For getting the highest success rates and cervical rates you should consider the multidisciplinary approach.
This means that each patient receives advice from different cancer specialists. Specialists such as surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and well-trained oncology staff.
All of these experts brainstorm to determine the best treatment protocol which is known as the Tumor board approach. This approach has the highest success and survival rates.
In India, the MedicoExperts Tumor board panel helps patients all over the world get the best possible treatment and survival rates.
Thanks to the availability of ‘tumor board’, multi-modality treatment, advanced technologies, and of course the advanced skills of the doctors, the success rate which is also typically termed as 5-year survival rates of colon cancer treatment in India is about 80-95 percent, especially in the initial stages of colon cancer.
Chemotherapy is credited to increasing the survival rates of patients with stage II, III, and IV cancer. The survival rate of colon cancer depends on various factors, especially on the stage of cancer.
Moreover, the expert oncologists and colon cancer specialists in India work towards increasing the life expectancy of the patient and helping them improve their quality of life.
The basic colon cancer treatment cost in India for diagnosing and evaluating colon cancer starts from 500 USD (37860 INR)
Pet scanning for colon cancer diagnosis cost in India is around 306 – 348 USD (23170 to 26350 INR)
Removal of early-stage polyps for colon cancer surgery in India costs around 2700 – 4700 USD (2 lakh to 3.5 lakh INR).
Colon cancer surgery cost in India for Colectomy or removal of colon surgery is around 2800 – 5000 USD (2.25 lakh to 4 lakh INR) in India.
One cycle of chemotherapy cost in India is around 500 – 1000 USD (35,000 to 75,000 INR)
Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:
1. How to prevent colon cancer ?
- If you are above 50, go through regular screening to get an idea about colon health.
- Add more fibres to your diet. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Have a balanced diet and put some cut on red meat.
- If you are overweight, reduce your weight through regular exercise and other physical activities.
- Avoid smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
2. Can you survive colon cancer?
Colon cancer if diagnosed early, chances of survival are high.
Early detected, localised colon cancers can be treated and patients live normal life after the treatment.
Survival rates of localised colon cancer are 91% in last 5 years
But, if Colon cancer is spread to surrounding parts and organs, survival rates are 72% in the last 5 years.
Advanced stage colon cancers can be treated as well with survival rates of 63% in the last 5 years.
3. What does poop look like with colon cancer ?
Stools may look black or look like tar. If the stool color is black then it is a warning sign that blood from the colon might have made the stool dark red or black.
Poop color may be bright red as well, in case of colon cancer.
Irregular thin stool may also be colon cancer.
But for reaching any conclusion stool samples must be further investigated.
4. Does stage 1 Colon cancer need chemotherapy?
Early stages of colon cancer like stage 1 can be cured with the help of surgery.
Usually, chemotherapy is not part of treatment in stage 1 of cancer.
Chemotherapy is used for advanced stages of cancer.
5. How long will it take me to recover from my colon cancer surgery?
Depending on the type of surgery chosen by the doctor, most patients will spend no more than 5 days in the hospital. After the surgery, patients should be able to return to their normal routine in 2 to 4 weeks. Patients may experience fatigue, which will subside over time.
6. What activities will I be permitted to engage in after surgery?
Doctors advise that you keep up your regular activities after surgery. To avoid the risk of hernia and other complications, you should refrain from lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 KG) for 4 to 6 weeks.
7. What food to avoid after the colon surgery?
Gummy foods, like bread and tough meats, should be avoided, as should spicy, fried, or gas-producing foods. Avoid drinking through a straw and chewing gum or tobacco to avoid swallowing air, which causes gas.
8. What are the risk factors for colon cancer?
Some risk factors can be avoided by changing one’s lifestyle, while others cannot. The following are some of the risk factors for colon cancer:
- Age 50 or older
- African American
- Type-II diabetes
- Personal or family history of colon cancer or polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Some inherited genetic syndromes
- Diet high in fat and/or low in fiber or calcium
- Heavy drinking
- Physical inactivity
9. What are the benefits of colonoscopies?
Colon cancer can often be avoided and treated. Colonoscopies can assist doctors in detecting and removing polyps in the colon before they become cancerous. People over the age of 50, as well as those who are at high risk, should have regular colonoscopies.