According to the reports from the World Health Organization, Cancer claimed over 9.8 million lives in 2018, the numbers spiking through every year. With the rapid urbanization and development of India, its medical facilities and the healthcare industry has become one of the pioneers across the world, especially for cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is a leading treatment option for various types of cancers with a high success rate. But, chemotherapy can be an expensive affair in Western countries, costing around $70,000 per year, which is often a lot more than the median income of a family.
It is one of the primary reasons why patients prefer getting their chemotherapy sessions in India, as the treatment here is cheaper and effective too.
Table of Contents
Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye
- What does Chemotherapy do?
- Steps to Plan your visit for Chemotherapy to India
- Pre and Post Treatment Care
- Quality of life after Chemotherapy in India
- Cost of Chemotherapy in India
- Why is India the best destination for Chemotherapy?
1. What does Chemotherapy do?
Chemotherapy has three routes of action – cure, control or ease the symptoms. Depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the spread, this chemical infused drug can either heal a patient completely or help them live a comfortable few months or years by easing their symptoms.
It involves a drug formula that is often administered to cancer patients to inhibit further growth or spread of the cancer cells. Since cancerous cells have a unique ability to proliferate without control, the administered drugs in the chemotherapy target those quick multiplying cells and kill them.
The drug travels in the bloodstream, targeting the localized and metastasized cancer cells and kills them. However, it may also affect the healthy cells to an extent, which is why people experience side effects after undergoing chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy for Conditions Other than Cancer
The use of chemotherapy is not just limited to cancer treatment. It is also effective in treating blood disorders and several auto-immune diseases like lupus.
It is primarily administered in low doses to patients with auto-immune disorders to compensate for their overactive immune system. In other cases, it is often administered in heavier doses to completely abolish the patient’s immune system before they have to undergo an organ transplant.
2. Steps to Plan your visit for Chemotherapy to India
Given how cost-effective chemotherapy treatments are in India, it is not surprising that more and more medical tourists rely on Indian doctors and hospitals for undergoing their treatment. If you are planning the same, here are a few important factors that you need to keep records of.
Checklist of documents:
- Previous medical reports and diagnosis from the doctor in your country
- Scanned copies of passport (of the patient and attendant)
- Scanned copies of address proof of the patient
- Health insurance details (if any)
- e-Medical visa
- Recommendation letter from the hospital in India
Since chemotherapy is a tedious treatment, it is not surprising that the doctors ask the patients to focus on their general health before undergoing the treatment. From their diet to their physical health, the patient needs to prioritize their well-being before they undergo the rigorous cycles of chemotherapy.
Things to avoid:
- Bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol should be avoided before the treatment
- Constant stress about things because that could strain the patient’s health
3. Pre and Post Treatment Care
For undergoing chemotherapy treatment in India, there is a quick checklist of things that the patient needs to keep in mind.
- Before the initiation of the treatment, the patient needs to consider a thorough consultation with their oncologist to get a clear picture of your situation and the treatment plan.
- Get the general laboratory tests done, as instructed by the doctor
- It is important to treat any existing infections in the body before the chemotherapy treatment to avoid the risks of complications
- Take the prescribed medications by the doctor
- Prepare ahead of time in terms of the surroundings where you will stay along with the kind of diet you will rely upon after the chemo session
- Once you are done with the successive chemotherapy sessions, it is important that the patient is mentally and physically ready to withstand the side-effects from the treatment
- Preparing the place of stay is also important, especially with sanitization and preventing the risks of infection around
- It is necessary to eat a healthy and nutritious diet even with the lacking appetite for quicker recovery
- Taking good care of the mouth and oral cavity is necessary, especially because chemotherapy increases the risks of mouth sores
- Practicing safe eating is important. Washing your hands before eating and consuming thoroughly washed fruits and vegetables is a necessity
- Know the instructions involved in taking care of the catheter, if you have one from your chemo session
- It is necessary to avoid excessive sun exposure, smoking and alcohol.
4. Quality of life after Chemotherapy in India
While some side-effects of chemotherapy are prevalent for a few days and then subside, there are other side-effects that are long-lasting. Since the treatment varies from patient to patient, the recovery after a chemo session is also very subjective. Some patients, with a sustained immunity, generally don’t experience a lot of side effects and recover in a relatively shorter time after the first session.
Patients are subjected to experiencing all or a few of these side effects and the oncologist you are consulting will clarify that it’s normal to experience the same. Some of the side effects include:
- Foggy cognition or Chemo brain
- Cardiomyopathy or Arrhythmia
- Hair loss
- Lacking appetite
Factors that affect the recovery after chemotherapy:
- General health and immunity of the patient
- Number of chemotherapy sessions
5. Cost of Chemotherapy in India
When it comes to Chemotherapy treatment in India, not only does it have a higher success rate, the treatment is also a lot more cost-effective compared to the western countries.
Generally, the cost of the chemotherapy treatment per cycle starts from INR 50,000 to INR 80,000 per cycle for the patients. The cost further varies depending on the number of chemo cycles that the patient has to undergo and the severity of their cancer and how far it has metastasized.
Factors affecting the Chemotherapy Treatment Cost in India
- Hospital charges in India
- Number of sessions and the mode of administration
- Consultation and treatment charges of the oncologists
- Cost of the follow-up treatments
6. Why is India the best destination for Chemotherapy?
Many medical tourists who have traveled to India for their chemotherapy treatment have time and time appraised India for being a leading center for cancer treatment with chemotherapy. Some of the primary reasons why India is a leading destination for Chemotherapy include:
- It has well-equipped hospitals with cutting-edge and state of the art cancer treatment for the patients
- There are highly qualified and experienced oncologists in India
- India has one of the most affordable chemotherapy treatment options
- Ease of communication
- Seamless foreign exchange
- Best hospitality and infrastructure
- Personalized care
- Ease in acquiring a medical visa
Following Covid-19 safety protocols
- Patient confidentiality
- Improved life expectancy and higher success rates
It doesn’t stop there. With a reliable and trusted medical tourism company like Medinirvana, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything. All you have to do is contact us with the assorted documents and reports and we will take care of the rest for you.
India has posed itself as one of the leading countries for cancer treatment. From cost-effective treatment options to higher success rates, chemotherapy has posed as an effective cure or assisted treatment for the patients. Given the fact that chemotherapy is used for treating severe conditions like cancer and auto-immune diseases, it is important that you get the treatment from the best centers and India is one of them.