Medical Tourism | Cancer Treatment In India

The term ‘cancer’ refers to a group of diseases, in which abnormal or diseased cells grow and divide uncontrollably, spread to other parts of the body (via blood or lymph) and destroy normal cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer-based on the cell type or organ in which they originate.

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Some of these are as follows –

Carcinoma: It originates in the skin or tissue of internal organs and can be further categorized into basal cell carcinoma, transitional carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.


Sarcoma: It originates in fat, blood vessels, cartilage, bone, muscle or other connective tissue.


Leukemia: It originates in blood-forming tissue, including bone marrow.


Myeloma and lymphoma: It starts from the cells of the immune system.


Germ cell tumor: It refers to cancers of testes or the ovary.

Blastoma: It is derived from immature “predecessor” cells or embryonic tissue and is more common in children.

A cancer is generally caused due to gene mutations that you are born with or those that occur after birth (due to smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals, obesity, hormones, etc.). As a result of gene mutations, cells may grow rapidly or in an uncontrolled manner. Being born with a genetic mutation may not necessarily mean that you will develop cancer. Often one or more mutations combine to form cancer.

Patients with cancer have symptoms such as fatigue, unexplained weight loss, persistent fever, night sweats, persistent cough, unexplained muscle or joint pain, difficulty in swallowing, persistent indigestion, changes in bowel or bladder habits, presence of a lump under the skin, skin darkening or redness.

In order to understand the severity of cancer, it is divided into stages, that describe the size of a cancer and how far it has grown. There are typically four stages of cancer –

Stage 0: This stage means cancer is ‘in situ’ i.e. it is in the place it started and has not spread at all. Hence complete cure is possible by surgically removing the tumor.

Stage I: This is an early stage cancer where the tumor is small and may have spread slightly into nearby tissues but not to the lymph nodes.

Stage II and III: In these two stages, the tumor is larger than in stage I and the cancer may have spread to surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.

Stage IV: This stage indicates that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as metastatic or advanced cancer. 

The treatment of cancer depends on location of the cancer in the body, and its stage, type and extent. The most common methods used to treat cancer are as follows –

Surgery: The tumor can be removed surgically (using laser or conventional instruments) and this may mean complete cure if the cancer has not spread from its origin site at all. In case of spread, lymph nodes and nearby tissue may also be removed.

Radiation therapy: Ionizing radiation can be used to destroy cancer cells and to prevent their further growth.

Hormone therapy: Hormones that helps the cancer grow in the body can be blocked to prevent the growth of cancer.

Chemotherapy: Anti-cancer drugs (injected into a muscle or vein, applied to skin or given by mouth) provided in cycles of alternating treatments and rest periods can be used to destroy cancer cells.

Biological therapy (Immunotherapy): This therapy uses the immune system of the patient’s own body in order to fight cancer.

Stem cell transplant: After stem cells transplant or bone marrow transplant using your own stem cells or stem cells from a donor, the new stem cells grow into mature disease-free cells.

A strict after care is necessary after cancer treatment. You should eat right, avoid stress and visit your doctor for regular check-ups as advised. The doctor will examine you and may ask you to undergo endoscopy, imaging procedures, and blood tests as required. Sometimes, if necessary psychological counselling may be required.

Cancer Treatment in India

India offers world-class cancer treatment, that includes diagnostic and treatment facilities at par with developed countries, at affordable costs. The wide range of cancer hospitals, trained doctors, medical staff and advanced technology has made India one of the best places to seek cancer treatment.  

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