Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for 71% of total deaths across the world. In India, the NCDs rate is 63%, and cancer is one of the leading causes, accounting for 9% of deaths. However, many celebrities get cancer treatment abroad, and they might feel that our country is not well equipped to deal with cancer.
But in reality, thousands of hospitals offer the best treatment for cancer in India and are on par with the treatment available in developed countries. In addition, there are several effective treatment options for cancer. Many patients have become cancer-free and are leading normal and joyful lives.
Top Cancer Treatment available in India
Many private and government hospitals offer the best treatment for cancer in India. There are several cancer treatments available based on their type and stage. Some of the patients will undergo only one kind of treatment, while most need a combination to get the best results. Some of the top cancer treatments practiced in India are-
- Biomarker Testing for Cancer Treatment: This testing is done for choosing the best cancer treatment for a particular patient. Through this testing, we can get information about genes, proteins, and biomarkers (tumor markers). Every cancer patient has a unique pattern of biomarkers, based on which particular cancer treatment is opted for by the oncologist.
- Chemotherapy: Uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Some of the common ways of giving chemotherapy are Oral, Intravenous (IV), Injection, Intrathecal, Intraperitoneal (IP), Intra-arterial (IA), and Topical. In addition, there are varieties of chemotherapy drugs available such as Abraxane, Bavencio, Adriamycin, Casodex, etc. Chemotherapy is used in most cancer treatments to shrink the tumor before surgery, destroy leftover cancer cells after surgery, support other therapies, and kill cancer cells that have returned or spread to other organs. Some side effects of chemotherapy are fatigue, mouth sores, nausea, and hair loss. Chemotherapy is one of the most common and best treatments for cancer in India.
- Radiation Therapy: It is a cancer treatment that utilizes high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells or stunt their growth by damaging their DNA. With damaged DNA, the cancer cell stops multiplying and eventually dies. The treatment doesn’t instantly kill cancer cells but progressively damages their DNA so that they die by themselves. There are variants of Radiation Therapy, external beam, and internal. The choice is based on the type of cancer, size of the tumor, location, etc. The different radiations used for cancer treatment are X-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles. Some of the side effects of Radiation Therapy are blurry vision, skin changes, fatigue, hair loss, etc.
- Surgery: It is a treatment procedure where a surgeon removes the cancerous tissue from the patient’s body. In standard methods, scalpels and other sharp tools are used to cut open your body and remove the cancerous tumor. Alternatively, Cryosurgery, Lasers, Hyperthermia, and Photodynamic Therapy are used, which are less painful and less scarring. Some of the risks involved are pain, bleeding, and infections.
- Hormone Therapy: It is a cancer treatment that stops cancer cell growth by blocking the hormones. This therapy is used for treating cancer and easing cancer symptoms. This treatment is ideal for breast and prostate cancer as hormones are used for growth. Hormone Therapy is often used along with other therapies. Some of the common side effects of this treatment are hot flashes, diarrhea, weakened bones, etc.
- Stem Cell Transplants: It is a procedure that replenishes blood-forming stem cells destroyed from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These blood-forming stem cells grow into white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The different types of Stem Cell Transplants done are Autologous, Allogeneic, and Syngeneic. The side effects include bleeding, infection, etc., on high doses.
- Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer: It is a cancer treatment that will help a cancer patient’s immune system to fight the disease. Substances made from living organisms to destroy cancer cells are used in this treatment. The different variants of Immunotherapies available are T-cell transfer therapy, Immune checkpoint inhibitors, Monoclonal antibodies, Treatment vaccines, and Immune system modulators.
- Targeted Therapy: It is a type of cancer treatment that destroys the proteins present in the cancer cells that help in growth and division. The different types of Targeted Therapies available are Small-molecule drugs and Monoclonal antibodies (therapeutic antibodies). This treatment works by helping the immune system destroy cancer cells, stunt their growth, stop signals that form blood vessels, deliver cell destroying substances, cause cancer cell death, and stop the cancer cells from using hormones for growth. Some of the side effects of this treatment include diarrhea, blood clots, fatigue, hair, and skin problems.
Finally, there are several methods adopted as the best treatment for cancer in India. The stage and type of cancer will be the deciding factor for choosing a suitable cancer treatment. In most cancer cases, the above treatments are combined to get the best results of removing the cancer cells and stop their relapse in the future. The advancements in cancer treatment give patients a lot of hope to achieve a full recovery and have a long life free of cancer.