Breast cancer treatments are so expensive in Kenya that both, the poor and the privileged struggle to pay for treatments. While progress towards accessible breast cancer care in the country is lethargic, just the cost of a mammogram is more than an average month’s salary of an individual. Cancer as such is the 3rd highest cause of morbidity in Kenya which accounts for almost 7 percent of deaths each year. Almost 39,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Kenya every year. It is also noticed that about 60 percent of patients with cancer in Kenya are younger than 70 years of age. Moreover, breast cancer cases top the list and about 70 to 80 percent of these cancers are diagnosed in advanced stages. Lack of awareness, inadequate diagnostic facilities, lack of treatment facilities along with high costs of treatments put together compound delivery of proper healthcare services in the country. Just imagine, a total number of just four radiation centers, which are all in Nairobi, are trying to serve the entire population of this African country.
Most Common Treatment Options for Breast Cancer
There are several treatment options for breast cancer patients and which are specifically determined according to the type and stage of cancer. Cancer care team will however discuss these options with the patient prior to treatment. The four most common treatment options for breast cancer are breast cancer surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.
- Breast Cancer Surgery – Most women suffering from this cancer will require breast cancer surgery. Options for breast cancer surgery include mastectomy and breast conserving surgery. Lumpectomy is a type of breast conserving surgery which involves removing a part of the breast. The extent of breast cancer surgery is however determined by the size and location of breast tumor. Mastectomy, which is the other type of breast cancer surgery, can either be simple mastectomy or radical mastectomy. All breast tissue is removed in simple mastectomy. Axillary lymph nodes are also removed along with the entire breast in radical mastectomy.
- Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer – Radiation therapy is also utilized in many cases for destroying breast cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapies which are used for treating breast cancer, external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. While external beam radiation therapy involves delivering radiation from a machine located outside the body, brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy which uses radioactive seeds which are implanted inside the patient’s breast next to the cancer.
- Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer – Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment which utilizes special drugs which travel through the bloodstream in order to destroy cancer cells. Adjuvant chemotherapy is typically administered after breast cancer surgery for destroying any cancerous cells left behind after the operation. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given prior to breast cancer surgery for shrinking the size of tumor prior to operation.
- Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer – Hormone therapy for breast cancer is generally meant to reduce risk of recurrence of cancer after breast cancer surgery. Hormone therapy is nowadays commonly used as adjunct treatment for breast cancer surgery.
Best Breast Cancer Treatments in India are Highly Affordable
Breast cancer treatment in India is an excellent option for women from all around the world who are concerned about the rising costs and quality of healthcare within their countries. While quality of breast cancer treatments in India is world-class, these are also available at affordable costs as well. Cost of breast cancer treatments in India is just a fraction of what it costs in other healthcare destinations around the world. In fact, most overseas patients actually save almost 70 percent of their hard earned money by undergoing breast cancer treatments in India.