Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is estimated to be the sixth leading cause of cancer-related deaths around the world. This is despite the fact that colon cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, if only its symptoms are identified on time, immediately followed by a diagnosis.
Colon cancer cost in India is far less than cost in other countries. For example, bowel diversion surgery costs only $6000 in India, while the same procedure costs around $45000 in the US. Similarly, the cost of polypectomy is around $3000 and the same procedure costs around $18000 in the US.
Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer that primarily affects men and women aged over 45 and kills over 65,000 patients each year around the world. This is the reason why people are advised to get screened for colon cancer every consecutive year after they cross the age of 50 years.
Colon cancer starts in the cells that line the colon or the rectum. A majority of colorectal cancer cases are confined to the location of its origin and the nearby lymph nodes, while some cases may spread to other distal cells and tissues. The cancer start from adenomatous polyps in the inner lining of the colon.
Colon cancer can be of different types, based on its exact location of origin and the characteristic of the malignant cells. Some of the common types of colon cancer include adenocarcinomas, leiomyosarcomas, lymphomas, melanomas and neuroendocrine tumors.
Colon Cancer: Causes
There are a number of reasons that put an individual at an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Two of the biggest colon cancer risk factors include age and family history of the disease.
Colorectal cancer rarely affects an individual aged below 40 years. In addition, it is mostly observed in individuals who has a family history of the disease or polyps in colon. It is estimated that a family history of colon cancer increases the risk of the disease by at least three to four times.
In addition to these two risk factors, individuals with a history of benign growth or those who eat diet low in fiber and high in fat are most likely to develop cancer of the colon.
Colon Cancer: Symptoms
Symptoms of colon cancer are many, usually unspecific. It may be hard for patients to identify its symptoms at first, but they experience certain symptoms as the condition advances. Some of the colon cancer symptoms include weakness, shortness of breath, weakness, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramps, blood in stool and bloating.
The severity of colon cancer symptoms depend on the actual location of the polyp. The patient may experience no symptoms at first for several years of suffering from the condition.
Colon Cancer Diagnosis
It is important for people aged above 50 to get screened for colon cancer once in every two years, especially if they are at an increases risk of developing the disease. Colon cancer is one of the few forms of cancer that can be diagnosed at an early stage and hence, the cure rate is high. In fact, the cancer can be cured even before it actually manifests itself by removing the identified polyps from the colon.
Typically, the following screening tests are used to diagnose colon cancer:
- Cologuard: It is a test used to detect blood in stool sample.
- High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT): It is used to detect trace amount of blood in stool that cannot be seen otherwise.
- Colonoscopy: It is a screening test used to capture the image of the colon and the rectum. It is conducted with the help of a special instrument called colonoscope.
- Sigmoidscopy: During this test, the rectum and sigmoid colon are examined carefully to diagnose polyp formation.
- Double contrast barium enema: This test is used to examine the colon from the outside of the body with the help of X-rays.
Colon Cancer Treatment in India
Colon cancer treatment in India is available at a number of hospitals located across different cities. The best hospitals for colon cancer treatment in India are equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, latest technology and highly experienced staff to handle all sought of patients and cancer cases.
Depending on the stage of colon cancer, the severity of colon cancer symptoms and the age of the patient, the doctor may decide to use one or a combination of the following treatment options for colon cancer:
Surgery: It is the most common and preferred treatment option for colon cancer, no matter whether the patient is in its early or advanced stage. Surgery is used to remove all or a few parts of the colon (colectomy), all of or a part of the bowel (colon resection) or complete colon and rectum (proctolectomy). The selection of one of these procedures is done based on the location of the tumor. Some other forms of popular surgical procedures for colon cancer removal include radiofrequency ablation, cryosurgery, ploypectomy and bowel diversion surgery.
Chemotherapy: This treatment method involves the use of specific drugs to kill off cancer cells or to stop them from dividing. The drugs are either administered orally or injected into the vein of the patient. The drugs can either be administered before the surgery or after it, depending on the medical condition of the patient.
Radiation therapy: This treatment is often conducted after the surgical procedure to kill off the remaining cancer cells. It makes use of high dose radiation to completely kill the cancer cells. In case the patient is not supposed to undergo a surgery for colon cancer, radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy for treatment of colon cancer.
Best hospitals for colon cancer treatment in India include:
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon
- Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
- Global Health City, Chennai
- Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bangalore
- Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
- Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, New Delhi
- SevenHills Hospital, Mumbai
Colon Cancer Treatment Cost in India
The cost of colon cancer treatment in India is much less than any other country, especially in case of chemotherapy. The drugs used for chemotherapy are expensive in India, yet they cost at least 50 to 60 percent less than what it costs than any other developed country, including the UK and the US.
On an average, a patient travelling to India can save almost 60 to 70 percent of their money if they decide to get colon cancer treatment in India. The savings remain the same even when the cost of boarding, lodging and food is taken into consideration.