Lymphoma or lymphatic cancer is rare form of blood cancer that affects the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system that prevents the body against infections.
Lymphoma treatment cost in India lies between US $6,500 to $8,500, which is much less than any other country. The treatment may include Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Steroids and Antibody therapy. In certain cases, a Bone Marrow Transplant or Stem Cell Transplant that costs $12500 to $20000 is also advised.
The lymphatic system is a complex network of different organs, including the spleen, lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, liver and the thymus gland. In addition to acting like body’s natural defense system against pathogens, lymphatic system also helps with supply of nutrients to different cells and tissues. It also drains out excess fluids and waste material and supplies it to the blood for further processing.
What is lymphoma and why is it a blood cancer?
The lymphatic system is known to produce B- and T-cells lymphocytes. In case of cancer of the lymphatic system, the B- and T-cells start to multiply in an abnormal way and start to accumulate in certain parts, especially the lymph nodes.
These cells also lose their ability to fight bacterial and viral infections, thus making the patients prone to infections. Lymphomas are categorized as a blood cancer since B- and T-cells lymphocytes travel between the lymphatic system and the circulatory system (blood) to ward off infection.
What causes lymphoma?
Cancer ultimately results when there is uncontrollable growth of certain types of cells and the programmed cell death (apoptosis) machinery breaks down. Although researchers have not been able to figure out why exactly lymphoma develops, there are several risk factors that are known to aid in the development of the disease.
Some of these risk factors include:
Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to the development of lymphoma. Such people may inherit faulty genes or mutations from either of their parents.
Cancer-causing agents: Chemicals such as pesticides, solvents and herbicides contain specific substances that may aid in development of cancer, especially lymphoma. An exposure to such carcinogens can lead to formation of free radicals, which, in turn, hamper the functioning of cells and promote cancerous growth.
Other factors: People from certain age groups are more likely to experience cancer-causing mutations that lead to development of specific types of lymphoma. In addition, presence of certain bacteria and viruses, including Helicobacter pylori, HIV, Epstein-Barr virus and hepatitis B or C are also associated with higher rates of lymphoma.
People suffering from this type of blood cancer may experience swelling in areas where lymph nodes are located (armpits, groin and neck), fullness in the abdomen, pain in the chest while breathing and unexplained weight loss. Some of the other symptoms include night sweats and fatigue.
What are the different types of lymphoma?
The following are the two types of lymphomas:
Hodgkin lymphoma: Also known as Hodgkin’s disease, this type of lymphoma occurs due to appearance of specific abnormal B-cells. It has five different sub-types and is characterized by the presence of a specific type of cell called Reed-Sternberg cell. It is typically treated with the help of chemotherapy and radiation, however, stem cell or bone marrow transplant may be advised in some cases.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: This category of lymphoma accounts for more than 90 percent of the cases diagnosed in a year. A majority of non-Hodgkin lymphoma initiate in B-lymphocytes. This type of lymphoma is characterized by the absence of Reed-Sternberg cells.
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Lymphoma Treatment in India
The best hospitals for lymphoma treatment in India offer different types of treatment, which is further selected based on the stage of lymphoma, the age of the patient, the severity of the symptoms and the possible side effects.
A patient suffering from lymphoma are treated with the help of one or a combination of the following treatment methods:
Chemotherapy: This form of therapy involved the use of specific drugs to kill off cancerous cells. The decision to conduct chemotherapy on a patient depends on the severity of the symptoms and the stage of lymphoma.
Based on the condition of the patient, doctors may decide to follow aggressive or moderate treatment regimen. Aggressive regimen is specially designed to kill all cancer cells in cases where it is possible to completely cure lymphoma. Moderate treatment regimen is usually followed to provide relief from the symptoms.
Radiotherapy: This type of treatment is usually preferred when cancer is just restricted to one part of the body. Before the treatment, the radiographer prepares a map of the body to identify the regions affected by lymphoma. Next, radiation sessions are planned daily, and usually continued at an interval of two to six weeks.
Steroids: Steroid are sometimes injected intravenously to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. The treatment lasts for a period of few months and continues along with chemotherapy. However, there are certain side effects associated with the use of steroids, including indigestion and increased energy levels and appetite.
Antibody therapy: Monoclonal antibodies are sometimes used to identify certain types of cancer cells in the body. The antibodies then attaches themselves to the cancer cells and destroys them. This type of treatment can be conducted independently or in combination with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
In certain cases, a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant is advised if high doses of chemotherapy end up destroying healthy bone marrow cells.
India has evolved in the last few years to become one of the major medical tourism hubs. Long waiting period, quality medical care and low cost of lymphoma treatment are some of the reasons why patients from across the world travel to India for treatment of blood cancer.
Lymphoma is a rare form of cancer. For the same reason, it is often difficult to find an experienced oncologist for timely and quality treatment. India has a brigade of experienced oncologists that specialize in handling complicated and uncomplicated cancer cases.
In addition, there are several hospitals for lymphoma treatment in India that are equipped with modern technology and experienced nursing staff. Some of these hospitals include:
Best Hospitals for Lymphoma Treatment in India
|Medanta The Medicity, Gurgaon||View Hospital|
|Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi||View Hospital|
|Max Super Specialty Hospital Saket, New Delhi||View Hospital|
|BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore||View Hospital|
|SevenHills Hospital, Mumbai||View Hospital|
|Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon||View Hospital|
Lymphoma Treatment Cost in India
Hundreds of patients from around the world plan to come to India to seek cancer treatment due to cost of treatment in India. This is true especially for patients coming from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and the Middle East, who look forward to get quality medical services at internationally accredited hospitals at low cost. The cost of lymphoma treatment in India is almost 25 percent of what it costs in other developed countries.
Lymphoma Treatment Cost Countrywise