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What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is one of the cancer treatment modalities. It uses powerful medicines to kill or destroy fast-growing cells, which is a characteristic of cancer cells. But healthy cells of the lips, hair follicles, and oesophagus also grow fastly. This is why chemotherapy often causes side effects like hair fall, mouth sores, nausea and vomiting because of the destruction of healthy fast-growing cells along with cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given as a curative or palliative. Curative chemotherapy helps to cure cancer and prevent cancer from recurring, while palliative chemotherapy is recommended for final-stage cancers (incurable cancers) to relieve a patient from cancer symptoms, improving the quality of life and helping to prolong life to some extent

Treatment type: Chemotherapy
Treatment goal: Destroy cancer cells using powerful medicines
Route of administration: Oral, Intravenous
Span of chemotherapy: 3 to 6 months or longer
Number of cycles: 4 to 8 cycles
Hospitalisation: No
Success rates: 80% to 90%

Factors that Impact the Cost of Chemotherapy in Kolkata

Chemotherapy is available at higher costs and lower costs depending on the type of drug. The choice of drug depends on your cancer type and stage, your general health, and your affordability too. Ask your doctor about the available chemotherapy options within your budget.

On average, the cost of chemotherapy in Kolkata ranges between INR 3,000 to INR 40,000 per session.

Sometimes, chemotherapy is given before or after surgery or in combination with other treatment modalities like radiotherapy, targeted therapy, etc. This may urther increase the final cost.

Patient Factors

Treatment Factors

Medical Factors

Pre-treatment costs

Post-treatment Costs

Compare Chemotherapy Costs in India with Kolkata

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 (Note: The displayed cost values are intended to provide an understanding to the public. The final cost for your treatment will be determined only after consultation with the Doctor. But if you want to know the approximate cost, especially for your case, contact us at 9019923337 and we will give you an estimate.)


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Why Choose Onco Cancer Centres for Chemotherapy?

Onco Cancer Centres are recognized for providing world-class cancer services at an affordable price for everyone. W understand the cost of cancer treatments can be burdensome for both patients and their caregivers. To mitigate this financial toxicity, we have launched the “Onco Care Plus” subscription program through which you can save up to INR 50,000 on cancer treatments. Check out more exclusive benefits of our subscription program here.

Additionally, you can get

Opt for our subscription program by downloading our world’s first cancer care app

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Chemotherapy Procedures and Benefits

Generally, chemotherapy can be given in two conditions:

1.To treat cancer and control it recurrence:
Chemotherapy treats cancer by destroying rapidly growing cells which is a characteristic of cancer cells. Here, chemotherapy aims to cure cancer completely and prevent the recurrence of cancer. In such cases, the administering chemotherapy is referred to as Curative Chemotherapy. Some cancers that are potentially treated and cured by chemotherapy are lymphomas, leukaemias, and testicular cancers.

2.To shrink the tumours and treat them effectively:
In the case of metastatic cancers (cancer that has spread to different parts the body), chemotherapy can no longer help to cure but is used to shrink the tumours. In such cases, the administering chemotherapy is referred to as Palliative Chemotherapy.

And the cost of chemo drugs varies widely from hundreds to lakhs depending on their efficacy. You can discuss with your doctor about the affordable chemo drugs for you

Best Doctors for Chemotherapy

Dr. Rajiv Jena

Consultant Medical Oncologist

MD (Radiation Oncology)
MD (Mediacal Oncology)

Frequently Asked Questions

Chemotherapy is often the first-line treatment for many cancers. It is considered a systemic therapy because chemo drugs travel along with the blood throughout the body and kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be used in two ways for treating cancer, either as curative or palliative. Curative chemotherapy destroys cancer cells and prevents recurrence. Palliative chemotherapy helps to relieve a patient from cancer symptoms and to increase their quality of life while prolonging their life span to some extent.


Generally, there are three fields of specialisation for cancer treatments; medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology. A Medical Oncologist is the right doctor to treat cancer using chemotherapy. Apart from chemotherapy, medical oncologists also specialise in treating cancer using immunotherapy and targeted therapy.


Onco Cancer Centres are well known for personalised cancer services at the most affordable prices. You can get the right chemotherapy that suits you best from well-trained and highly experienced medical oncologists. Not just treatments, our services also include customised nutrition service, continuous assistance from care managers and unlimited access to cancer specialists. Overall, it is a one-stop solution for all cancer-related services.


Speak to your health insurance company about what services they will pay for. Many insurance companies are covering the costs of chemotherapy. We suggest you contact your insurance company before planning the treatment and know the insurance process.


Cash, UPI, NEFT, Credit card, and debit card payments are accepted at Onco Cancer Centres.


Chemotherapy costs can be variable based on the type of drug, its dose, number of chemotherapy cycles, type and stage of cancer, etc. Again the overall treatment cost can be affected by pre-treatment costs and post-treatment costs. Some chemo drugs are expensive while some are easily affordable. Discuss with your doctor about available medication options for you, and later take an informed decision based on your affordability


The choice of chemotherapy drug and its dose depends on the stage of cancer too. Early-stage cancers (Stage I & Stage II) can be treated with less number of chemo cycles, so it will be less expensive whereas late-stage cancers (Stage III & Stage IV) require treatment for a longer duration with the increased number of cycles, so the cost will be high accordingly. Therefore, the cost varies from person to person depending on the type and stage of cancer, number of chemo cycles required and the patient’s unique needs. Ask your doctor about the approximate final cost of your treatment.


Your doctor will suggest blood tests, imaging scans, physical examination and organ functioning tests to determine if you are fit for chemotherapy. Some of these tests are also continued during chemotherapy. Complete blood count (CBC) is an important test because chemotherapy reduces the bone marrow’s capacity to produce abundant blood cells. So, it is important to monitor the blood counts in the body before, during and after chemotherapy.


Generally, every cancer treatment involves a multidisciplinary team. It is a panel of cancer experts from various specialisations. For chemotherapy, a medical oncologist and a haematologist (for treating blood cancers) are primarily involved. Along with these specialists, a paediatric oncologist (for children), pathologists, a surgeon, nurses, and other health care professionals may also be involved based on your case.


Usually, a course of chemotherapy takes between 3 to 6 months. It can be of longer duration or shorter based on your specific case. This course of treatment involves 4 to 8 cycles of chemotherapy and the duration of each cycle lasts for a few minutes to hours depending on the type of drug and its dose.


Chemotherapy drugs are given either intravenously or orally, which is not usually painful. But the pain may occur during the insertion of the needle for intravenous infusion, or after treatment due to side effects like mouth sores, burning sensation, headaches, and muscle and stomach pain.