Bladder cancer treatment is provided through several reputed medical centers and government-funded and private hospitals in India. There are a number of medical institutions accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) that offer quality medical care to bladder cancer patients.
Bladder cancer procedure may cost around $2500 in India. It is 35 to 50 percent less than what it costs in any other country, including the US, UK, Singapore, Canada and the UAE with same quality of medical services. For example, it costs around $12,000 or more in the United States.
The choice of bladder cancer treatment in India is dependent on the several factors, including but not limited to the severity of the bladder cancer symptoms, tumour stage and presence of other medical conditions or diseases.
The following are the two major factors considered before selecting appropriate bladder cancer treatment in India:
- Severity of bladder cancer symptoms such as urinary tract infection (UTIs), pelvic, bone, or back pain, weight loss, irritation while urinating, difficulty in passing urine and appearance of blood in the urine.
- Bladder cancer tumor stage (0, I, II, III, IV or V), indicating whether the bladder cancer is restricted within the walls of the bladder or has spread to surrounding tissues, organs or lymph nodes.
Based on the assessment made by the doctor, either one or a combination of the following bladder cancer treatment may be carried out at the medical facility.
Bladder Cancer Surgery in India
The following are the three main types of surgeries performed in India for bladder cancer:
- Transurethral resection (TUR): In this type of surgery a device called a cystoscope is inserted through the urethra to locate the tumor, magnify its view and then to remove it altogether.
- Urinary diversion: This surgery helps create an alternate way for the urine to leave the body, making it easier for the patient to pass urine.
- Cystectomy: This surgery is performed to remove the bladder. Segmental and radical cystectomy are the two types of cystectomy done.
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Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer in India
This treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells wither by killing them or by stopping them from increasing in numbers. Two or more drugs are used in combination to achieve the results. Drugs are either injected directly into the bladder with the help a tube inserted through the urethra, injected into a vein in the arm of the patient or administered orally.
Sometimes chemotherapy is used to remove cancer cells that are left after surgery. This treatment may also be used before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor, so that the surgery remains less invasive.
Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer in India
This treatment uses high doses of radiation and x-rays to destroy cancer cells. External radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells in the bladder.
Immunotherapy for Bladder Cancer in India
Also called biological therapy, immunotherapy alerts the immune system to challenge and fight against the cancer cells. Typically, drugs used in this therapy include bacilli Calmette-Guerin and alpha- 2B (Intron A). These drugs are inserted through urethra directly into the bladder.
Typically, the surgical treatment procedures are performed under the influence of general anesthesia and the patients is required to stay within the hospital for at least 3 to 5 days. Drugs are often prescribed to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence in case the bladder cancer has spread to other areas as well. A regular follow up is often advised to check on the recovery of the patient and to determine bladder cancer recurrence.
There are a number of private and public medical institutions that offer state-of-the-art medical facilities for bladder cancer treatment in India. Big hospitals such as Fortis, Apollo, Columbia Asia and Rockland have several branches located across different Indian cities that help provide quality medical care at affordable costs.