Cost of treatment of Cancer in India

Cancer has been killing millions of people worldwide every year. The University of Toronto has invented a device that I can track down the cancerous cells by sending signals into the body. Hormones are the signals that tell the cells to grow. But all cells of the body do not take heed of the chemical signals. Apart from the new scientific inventions which have not been proved as breakthrough, cancer in in India has been on a constant rise.


As per an estimate every year a million recorded cases of cancer are reported in India. Out of which in India 50% of people do not survive to cancer. High cost of treatment and late detection of the disease kill half a million cancer patients in India. Cancer is such a curse to Mankind.


Chemotherapy and hormonal drug therapy cost high. It ranges from 10k to 4 lakh. Cost of 6 sessions of chemotherapy costs between 4 lakh to 10 lakh. A major disadvantage in case of cancer is it may recur. India where 70% people who can’t spend 20 rupee a day how would someone from them or their family can afford the cost of cancer?



Even people from middle class are unable to afford its high cost. Cancer not only wipes off all the savings but also sometimes push families to sell their properties and home. There are number of people who become bankrupt during and after treatment of cancer.


Even though almost all insurance companies have health policies for serious life threatening diseases including cancer, mostly people cannot afford to have a 10 lakh cover, 10 lakh is an amount that six chemotherapy sessions cost. To have a 10 lakh cover one needs to pay typically 17k to 50k as annual premium.


Rise in cancer in India is due to increased consumption of Tobacco and lifestyle change.


Cancer Hospitals in India

Gone are the days when India was having very limited number of renowned cancer hospitals. Tata Memorial Hospital was the only trustworthy hospital in the past but now India has several such renowned cancer hospitals. There are more than 80 to 100 reliable cancer hospitals present in India. Appolo and fortis have their chain of hospitals in almost all bigger cities with in-house oncology departments.


There are several charitable cancer hospitals in India too. Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai is one among them. It handles more than 10,000 cases of cancer. Most of the cancer patients get subsidized treatment and patients who cannot afford get free treatment.

Why treatment of Cancer is expensive in India



Though it is relatively cheap comparing to other countries still it is widely unaffordable for general masses. It is a big concern for Indian Government too.

Setting up a 100 bed cancer hospital costs more than 100 crore.


Costs of imported equipment are high. Dual Energy Linear Accelerator 6 & 15 MV photons costs nothing less than 11 cr including import duty. PET CT scan costs between 3 cr to 10 cr depending upon the quality of equipment.


Medicines are way expensive. Herclon given for breast cancer costs 75,000 for every cycle while Avastin is given for internal organs such as gall bladder, kidney, colon region, and stomach cost 1 lakh per cycle. Note that cancer cannot be cured in one cycle. CT scan costs 1.45 lakh.



A mandatory licensing of cancer drugs can be a way forward to bring down medicines for cancer. For example a cancer medicine Nexavar is treated for liver and kidney cancer. Bayer sells it with an amount of 2.8 lakhs while its generic version costs between 8,000 Rs. to 10,000 Rs. The Govt of India should think in terms of licensing the high cost cancer drugs while allowing local companies to manufacture the cheaper version of such drugs.

As I said cancer is a curse to mankind, we should always remember that prevention is better than cure. No one in the earth will be immortal but whatever life has been predestined for us should be disease free. We are fully responsible for our good health. Inside a heathy body lives a healthy mind. Good health is more precious than wealth.

Written By Dipti Prasad padhi (



By : | Category : Health & Science| Sub Category : Health News|Date : September 05,2015

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