Survive With Pride Choosing Economic Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Survive With Pride Choosing Economic Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Knowing the anatomy of the breast is important before understanding the breast cancer and its risks. The female breast is a milk producing tissue on the chest which mainly comprises of lobes and ducts.

Lobule is the gland which produces milk. The milk is transferred to the nipples through the ducts. There are some tissues and ligaments that provide support and shape to the breast. Around the nipple, there is a pigmented circular area of brown or pink color called Areola.

Development of Breast

The major development of female breast takes place after puberty. Due to the hormonal changes, morphological structure of the breast changes and sprouting occurs. The uneven development of the breast is common during puberty. After a couple of years the development is stimulated. Growth hormone and estrogen are responsible for this boosted development. An excess development of the breast can also be seen during the menstrual cycle. There is another hormone called Progesterone which is responsible for lobule stimulation, milk production and preparing the uterus for pregnancy.

Understanding the Breast Function

Female breast is responsible for feeding an infant in order to provide him sufficient nourishment. The fatty acids are the primary components of female breast. The milk is stored in the lobules and taken to the nipples through ducts. The milk is transferred when oxytocin hormone provides signal.

What is Breast Cancer?

Cancer is a disease which can grow in any part of the body. In cancer, the elementary component of the body i.e; cells grow uncontrollably forming a mass called tumor and shadow the normal cells. Breast cancer is very common in women in different parts of the world. This type of cancer develops in the breast cells. Mostly the breast cancer occurs in the glands and tissues present in the breast. Usually, the Malignant tumors cause the risk of cancer. Lobules and ducts are the most common sections where the breast cancer develops. The healthy breast tissues are invaded by the cancer cells that are close to them. Gradually cancer spreads in the body through the lymph nodes.

Types of Breast Cancer

There are two major types of cancer – In Situ and Invasive.

In Situ Cancer – In this type of breast cancer, the cancer is still affecting a small part of the body and not spread in a huge area. The primary types of In Situ breast cancer are Ductal carcinoma in situ and Lobular carcinoma in situ.

Invasive Breast Cancer – As the name suggests, this type of cancer requires invasive treatment as it has spread in a major area around the breast and has become a threat to the life. It is also known as infiltrating cancer. Invasive lobular carcinoma and invasive ductal carcinoma are the primary types of invasive breast cancer.

There are other types of breast cancer as well –

Triple Negative



Pregnancy Breast Cancer

Paget Disease



Stages of Breast Cancer

There are various stages of breast cancer. The severeness of cancer decides its stage. If the cancer is still in the breast and not spread in the surrounding then a prolific treatment and fast recovery can be expected otherwise there is a higher level of risk. The size of the tumor, involvement of the lymph node, whether invasive treatment is needed and the amount of area affected are some important factors that decide the level of risk and stage of the cancer. The primary stages of breast cancer are –

Stage 0 – Cancer cells still present in the breast ducts and not invaded the nearby tissues

Stage 1 – Tumor size up to 2 cm

Stage 2 – Either tiny cancer cell groups exist in the size between 0.2 mm and 2 mm in lymph nodes without any tumor in the breast or these group of cancer cells exist along with the tumor in the breast

Stage 3 – Either the underarm lymph nodes have cancer cells but the breast doesn’t or a tumor of size less than or equal to has spread to the underarm lymph nodes or there is a tumor between 2 cm and 5 cm existing without spreading to the underarm lymph nodes

Stage 4 – A tumor of size between 2 cm and 5 cm spreads to the underarm lymph nodes or the tumor is bigger than 5 cm but not yet spread to the underarm lymph nodes

Stage 5 – Cancer exists between the sticking underarm lymph nodes and not in the breast or near the breastbone or the cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes or existing near the breastbone and has any size

Stage 6 – A tumor of any size has either spread to the breast skin or the walls of the chest and there is a probability that the cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes or the cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes near the breastbone

Stage 7 – No cancer in the breast but a tumor of any size may have spread to the breast skin or chest wall and the existence of the cancer which is spread to the lymph nodes is found below or above the collarbone and either the cancer has spread to the underarm nodes or the lymph nodes close to the breastbone

Stage 8 – Spreading or metastasis of cancer to various body parts

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer can be dived in to two parts – early symptoms and later symptoms.

Early symptoms of Breast Cancer

Persisting breast pain even after the next period

Newly formed lump that lasts even after the next period

Nipple shape changes

Rash and irritation in breast

Sudden redness and swelling in breast

Formation of a lump or swelling around underarms or collarbone

The pores of breast skin enlarge

Clear or bloody nipple discharge

Later Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Asymmetry of breast

Dimpling is noticed around the breast surface

Pain in vagina

Breast veins are visible

Skin texture changes

Already existing lump enlarges

Nipple retraction

Sudden weight loss

Underarms lymph nodes enlarge

Reasons of Breast Cancer

Like any other type of cancer, the abnormal growth of a cell causes breast cancer. There is no other specific reason behind it. Breast cancer usually occurs in lobules and the ducts that produce milk. Genetics, aging, previous medical history of breast cancer, overweight after menopause, older age menopause, children in older age, hormone and radiation treatments, lifestyle and diet play an important role in causing breast cancer.


Doctors prescribe few essential tests before diagnosing breast cancer. The primary tests include –

General Breast Examination

MRI Scan

Ultrasound Scan



Treatment of Breast Cancer in India

The treatment of breast cancer in India includes medication and surgery. The anti-estrogen medicines are mainly prescribed to cure or reduce breast cancer. Some of the approved drugs to prevent breast cancer are Evista, Tamoxifen Citrate, Keoxifene and Nolvadex. While to reduce the effect of breast cancer during chemotherapy, the approved medication include Capecitabine, Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide, Paclitaxel, Vinorelbine, to name a few.

The major therapies provided to reduce the breast cancer effect are chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapies.

The major therapies provided to reduce the breast cancer effect are chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapies.

Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment in India

The cost of breast cancer treatment varies from one country to another. The stage of breast cancer and the patient’s medical history also plays an important role in deciding the cost of treatment. As the breast cancer stage exceeds, there are lesser chances of cure and survival and hence highly advanced treatment is provided to the patient pretty often which hikes the treatment cost.

India is a dream place for breast cancer treatment for the medical tourists arriving from different parts of the world. The treatment cost involves doctor’s consultation, diagnostic tests, medication, homecare, hospital stays, therapies and surgery (if needed).

The total cost of a single cycle of chemotherapy in India ranges between $1,000 and $ 15,000. The same treatment and surgery cost around 4-5 times more in the U.S and Europe. This is one of the main reasons why many Medical tourists prefer India for Medical Treatment, making it rank among the Top 5 countries for Medical tourism. The cost of targeted therapy in India costs around $31,000 while each cycle of radiation therapy can make you cough up around $2,400. The surgery usually costs between $3,800 and $5,500.

Best Indian Hospitals for Breast Cancer Treatment

There are many cancer treatment hospitals in India and most of them are located in the cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Chennai. The major breast cancer hospitals in India are –

Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Delhi NCR

Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi NCR

Medanta – The Medicity, Delhi NCR

Columbia Asia Hospital, Delhi NCR

Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai

SL Raheja Hospital, Mumbai

Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai

PD Hinduja National Hospital, Mumbai

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, Kolkata

Fortis, Bangalore

Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Bangalore

HCG Cancer Centre, Bangalore

Apollo Speciality Cancer Hospital, Chennai

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