Uninsured? Be Mindful of Chemotherapy Cost in India


Uninsured? Be Mindful of Chemotherapy Cost in India

Leaving alone the treatment expenses of life-threatening diseases, even regular health check-ups have become hefty today. Among various diseases, cancer has become one of the reasons for the high death tolls across the globe. Apart from being a psychological trauma, a disease like cancer can severely hit your finances as well. The treatment cost of cancer is sometimes very high and not within everyone’s reach. Chemotherapy being a major part of cancer treatment attracts a huge chunk  as the chemotherapy cost per cycle may range between ₹3,000 to ₹50,000, depending on the severity of the  illness.

Coping with such high medical treatment costs may be a big burden on your shoulders. However, if you have a health insurance plan, you may at least have the much-needed mental peace and financial aid in hard times.

What is Chemotherapy?

In simple words, chemotherapy is a drug treatment advised for people with serious diseases like cancer, immune system disorders, etc. Due to various known and unknown reasons, the cells in the body start to grow abnormally and rapidly. While some may be harmless, others may be cancerous and quite serious.

As a part of cancer treatment, chemotherapy is used to kill these rapidly growing cells to stop further harm to the body and return of the cancerous cells. You must note that although chemotherapy is commonly used for cancerous cell treatment, it is also used for various other diseases. Read on to learn more about the procedure, cases, and chemotherapy cost.

Is Chemotherapy Only Used for Cancer Treatment?

Apart from cancer treatment, chemotherapy is also used to target different types of diseases and disorders in the body. These include:

1. Immune System Disorders

People with diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis may show significant improvement with chemotherapy treatment. In such cases, the chemotherapy doses may be low.

2. Bone Marrow Diseases

Some people suffer from bone marrow diseases. In some conditions, the doctor may recommend a stem cell transplant, commonly known as a bone marrow transplant. In order to prepare the bone marrow for the transplantation process, chemotherapy may be given to the patient.

3. Radiation Treatment

In order to kill cancerous cells, radiation therapy or radiotherapy may be used. Sometimes, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy for better results.

Types of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be given in three different ways. It depends on the type of disease it is used for, the stage of the disease, and the overall health of the patient. Here is how one may receive chemotherapy:

1. Intravenous infusion

In some patients, chemotherapy treatment can be given intravenously. In this, the veins are targeted to infuse the drugs gradually. The intravenous infusion can be through veins in the arms or chest.

2. Through pills

Chemotherapy need not be a clinical procedure. Some people may recommend chemotherapy pills. This is also called oral chemotherapy or medicine chemotherapy.

3. Injections

Here one receives medicinal shots through Injections to perform chemotherapy. Using needles, the patient is injected with the drugs.

4. Creams and lotions

Usually, in skin cancers, chemotherapy creams and lotions may be advised to the patient. It can be applied to the targeted area of the skin.

5. Targeted area

In some cases, the chemotherapy drugs are directly given to the affected area. For instance:

  • Intraperitoneal chemotherapy- For abdomen
  • Intrapleural chemotherapy- For chest cavity
  • Intrathecal chemotherapy- For the central nervous system
  • Intravesical chemotherapy- For bladder

6. Chemotherapy disks

Some patients may receive chemotherapy just after the surgery or in order to treat the targeted area. A disk-shaped thing, that contains chemotherapy drugs, is placed near the tumour while undergoing surgery. Gradually, the disk-shaped thing breaks and attacks the cancerous cells.

The cost of chemotherapy in India can sometimes be quite expensive. This is why a cancer insurance plan is highly recommended to help cover the hefty chemotherapy cost.

In case of life-threatening diseases like cancer, it can protect your savings from high chemotherapy prices in India.   

Chemotherapy Preparations

Prior to beginning the process of chemotherapy, the patient undergoes several medical tests. It is to ensure the overall health  for chemotherapy. Listed below are some procedures that your doctor may carry before the drug treatment:

1. Blood tests

It is essential to check the heart, kidney, and lungs' health before starting chemotherapy. So, blood tests for the same have to be done. In case of any underlying problem, the chemotherapy procedure may be postponed, or the underlying problem may be treated first.

2. Dental Check-ups

The patient may be asked to go for a dental check-up. Here, your dentist will ensure whether or not you have good dental health and are fit for the chemotherapy treatment.

A patient must prepare themselves physically, as well as mentally, for the upcoming chemotherapy treatment. For this, one may arrange for the probable side effects like infertility, a head cover for coping with hair loss and applying for leave at the workplace to have proper rest. Apart from these, people who may be at risk of cancer are also advised to have a health insurance plan. It helps in coping with the chemotherapy costs.

>> Also Read: What is Chemotherapy? Understands Its Types, Methods, and Benefits

Associated Risks with Chemotherapy

Since chemotherapy is a drug treatment, the body may react differently person to person. While some deal with it easily, others may find it hard to cope up. Here are some of the associated health risks with chemotherapy:

1. Heart problems

2. Damage to lungs

3. Problems to kidney

4. Risk of another cancer

5. Infertility

6. Damage to nerves is peripheral neuropathy.

Some of the common side effects of chemotherapy treatment may be:

1. Hair loss

2. Vomiting

3. Nausea

4. Fever

5. Constipation

6. Bleeding

7. Diarrhoea

8. Fatigue

9. Pain

10. Mouth sores

11. Appetite loss

12. Easy bruising

In case of any side effects, you must contact your doctor. Explain your problem so that it can be treated on time to avoid future complications.

How can I Deal with High Chemotherapy Costs?

Cancer treatment in India is available at both private and government hospitals. One may choose whichever suits the best. However, chemotherapy cost in government hospital is also sometimes high. From ₹3,000, chemotherapy cost per cycle may go up to ₹18,000 or beyond2 as well. Patients may typically, require 4-8 chemotherapy sessions, depending on the type and stage of the cancer.

It is estimated that 1 out of 9 Indians1 is likely to develop some type of cancer in their lifetime. Sadly, cancer incidence continues to rise. While it may not always be possible to avert such illnesses, one can strive to be prepared.

A common yet serious worry most patients and their family members have is how to deal with such expensive treatments and chemotherapy costs. The simplest answer is, with the best health insurance in india. It is an easy and quick help available in case of any need.

We at Care Health Insurance offer coverage for cancer treatment expenses under our critical illness insurance and cancer policy. With the Cancer Insurance plan, you have the ease to pay your premiums in easy instalments. Being an indemnity health insurance, a fixed amount of money will be paid out in case the insured is diagnosed with cancer.  The compensation can be used in paying off the liabilities including on-going EMIs, loan, mortgages, education fees etc. To know more you can visit our website or let the insurance expert contact you. Leave your valuable comment if you find this information helpful!

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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