Cancer Treatment in India – What are your options today?
What are the different types of Cancer treatment facilities available in India?
Depending on the site, type and stageof Cancer that you or your loved one has been diagnosed with, Indian hospitals generally offer Surgery (Surgical Treatments), Chemotherapy Treatments, Radiation Therapy Treatments, Immunotherapy Treatments, Targeted Therapy Treatments (treatments with Monoclonal Antibodies or MABs), Bone Marrow Transplants, Stem Cell Transplants, Hormone Therapies, Gene Therapies and more.
Cancer Treatment in India – Who undergoes treatment in India?
India has one of the highest incidence rates of Cancer today among other developing countries. Many patients from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan travel to India for their Cancer treatment. Patients from African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya also come in large numbers to receive Cancer treatment in India, seeking better infrastructure and more advanced treatment therapies. On the other hand, there is a growing pool of patients from western countries who want more affordable traditional treatment options.
Cancer Treatment in India – What is the biggest problem for patients today?
Due to a lack of public health infrastructure, a lack of qualified expert oncologists, and vested commercial interests, many patients end up receiving one-size-fits-all “recommendations” from hospitals. Many treatment delivery centers are known to offer the exact same treatment options (e.g. Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy) to all patients, without going into the specifics of any case. In reality, however – each Cancer case is unique and complex, and deserves personalised attention from a panel or team of expert Oncologists.
What is the result of this ‘lack of expertise’?
Except for Metros, most Indian cities still lack expert oncologists and multi-speciality cancer hospitals. As a result, many patients get misdiagnosed, mistreated or sometimes even over-treated (subjected to unnecessary procedures). There have been instances where patients did not receive the right treatment (which could have saved them), because the hospital offered them a different treatment which benefited them commercially.
Cancer Treatment in India – What is more important, the right TREATMENT or the right HOSPITAL?
Cancer is a very complex disease. Its treatment requires the combined inputs of experts from every discipline of Cancer. It needs a medical oncologist’s opinion, a hematological oncologist’s opinion, a radiation specialist’s opinion, a surgical oncologist’s opinion, before the right treatment plan can be formed. And in Cancer, the right treatment is as important as treatment itself.
Getting the right treatment is definitely more important than where you get it, because:
- It is important to understand the benefits and risks associated with any treatment.
- It is important to know what the side effects of any treatment can be.
- It is essential to understand the outcomes projected/predicted after any procedure.
- It is critical to know if a particular treatment procedure will benefit or harm the patient’s current condition, or if it can lead to further complications.
Cancer Treatment in India – How to make sure you are getting the RIGHT treatment?
The only people qualified enough to tell us whether a particular line of treatment is effective or not, are the right doctors. Expert oncologists from different sub-specialties, super-specialties and different treatment disciplines can effectively evaluate a treatment plan and tell us if something can be done better, or if something should change. It is highly advisable to seek a consultation from a team of oncologists from different specialities instead of just a single oncologist with a specific sub-speciality. However, since time and resources are often limited to Cancer patients, they cannot afford to travel to meet different experts spread across different cities and states, just to seek opinions from a diverse set of oncologists. Moreover, most Cancer patients and their families are not aware about which doctors (specialists) can come together as the best team to form a combined opinion on their specific case.
How does Onco.com solve the problem of Cancer treatment in India?
To solve this problem, Onco.com offers a different format for seeking Online Second Opinions for Cancer. Using this service, a patient or a caregiver can choose to upload all existing medical records and have them reviewed by a team of the right Cancer specialists (the Onco.com team studies every report in great detail to find the right doctors from its panel, who are equipped to provide a relevant opinion for each specific case).
Fast, Online Delivery of Opinions on Cancer Treatment in India
Once an opinion has been formed, the combined treatment advice is sent to the patient online, within 3 to 5 business days of registering and submitting their medical history. This advice comes from the most qualified and relevant oncologists, based on that patient’s specific case history, and there are no hospital or treatment delivery “recommendations” from Onco.com. Besides the medical information, the detailed report from Onco.com also contains sections that patients and their family members can clearly understand. That helps them select the most optimum treatment therapy and medical dosage for the patient. This also provides them clarity on what outcomes to expect (and get answers to any other specific questions they might have, such as questions about survival rates, palliative care options, etc) and patients can decide for themselves whether they want to get a particular treatment or not, and where they want to take that treatment.
How much does it COST to build the right treatment plan or get a second opinion to validate existing cancer treatment via Onco.com?
This is a unique service, which allows patients and their loved ones to get a expert opinion from a team of 2-3 oncologists, without travelling anywhere. Patients using Onco.com to plan their Cancer treatment in India, do not need to worry about where these right doctors are located. They also need not worry about any hidden commercial interests as we do not have tie-ups with any treatment hospitals for patient referrals, we just provide the right treatment advice.
Charges involved in finding out the Right Cancer Treatment in India
The consultation charges for an Indian panel of Oncologists, begin at Rs 7,000. Patients also have the option of getting treatment advice from a panel of US-based Cancer specialists, starting $500 (No international travel is needed, patients can receive the recommendations of global experts sitting at home).