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Cervical Cancer Treatment in India

Cervical cancer is a disease that takes place in women’s cervix. It is the areas situated at the lower most section of the uterus that connects with vagina. Vagina or the birthing canal is the upper part of uterus.

Cervical cancer occurs in women who are over 30 in age. Cervical cancer, unfortunately, is deadly but with timely detection and proper therapy, death can be prevented. Cervical cancer occurs when the cells in cervix start to develop thick, thus invading cervix cells. These infected cells spread to lungs, bladder, liver, rectum and anus. In this write-up today, we will be covering various aspects of the disease and also the cost of cervical cancer treatment in India, which is affordable and efficient than any other country in the world. Learn more below:

What Are The Different Types Of Cervical Cancer?

  • Adenocarcinoma

    The cancer starts developing along the glandular cells on the lining of cervical canal.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    The cancer starts developing along the squamous or thin cell lining across the outer cervix, protruding in vagina.
  • Other Cervical Cancer Types

    There is another type of cervical cancer which consists development of both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – known as mixed carcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma.

What Is The Cervical Cancer Survival Rate In India?

5-year rate in cervical cancer in India is 66%, although, the figure may differ depending on factors like age, ethnicity and race.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Abnormalities Of Precancerous Cervix

Change in the tissue in cervix starts to reveal before the development of cervical cancer. These abnormalities is referred as CIN or cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia or CGIN or Cervical Glandular Intraepithelial Neoplasia. The terms are coined based on the kinds of cells affected. The precancerous abnormalities are not life-threatening but may gradually lead up to cancer when not treated early.

HPV Or Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is caused by certain viruses that spread with sexual contacts like using toys, skin-to-skin and genitalia. Not all kinds of HPV are cancerous but the cancerous ones are highly risky. HPV induced cancer cannot be determined without screening.

Some Other Causes

  • Having many sexual partners activates the chances of people coming in contact with the virus and develop infection.
  • Smoking increases the chance of cervical cancer.
  • Women consuming oral contraceptive pills are at a great risk of developing cervical cancers.
  • Obesity with unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits.
  • Suffering from other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, AIDS/HIV, chlamydia, syphilis etc.
  • Failure in cervical cancer treatment
  • Genetic mutations
  • Long-term dialysis
  • Inherited syndromes
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure

Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer at early stage does not come up with any sign or symptoms. But these develop when the cancer cells affect the surrounding cells in the cervix. Symptoms and signs of cervical cancer cells include pain, heavy vaginal discharge etc. In the more advanced stage of cervical cancer, patients encounter vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse after period or during menopause with a foul odor. The pain usually feels like a pressure in an area. The pain may be sharp or dull, intermittent or continuous.

The most conventional symptoms and signs of cervical cancer are

  • Persistent pain in pelvis
  • Strong odor in vagina with increased secretion
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
  • Pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after periods
  • Swelling in legs
  • Backache
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Fatigue & dizziness
  • Bloody bowel
  • Sudden weight loss

At Which Age Can Cervical Cancer Occur?

Cervical cancer do not generally affect women of younger age. It usually occurs to women who are 35+ in age. The risk of developing cervical cancer can be eliminated with frequent screenings, HPV tests and Pap tests.

How Fast Does Cervical Cancer Spread?

Cervical cancer is a commonly occurring disease that occurs due to abnormal formation or transformation of cells from infection in the cervix caused by Human Papilloma Virus. This disease is diagnosable at the early stage and can be eliminated when treated on time, right from the early stage. At the first stage, cancer growth is slow, so if the treatment is not initiated, it can lead to further stages and even spread to other organs and parts of the body.

What Are The Different Stages Of Cervical Cancer?

The various levels of cervical cancer are based on the extent up to which the diseased cells are affected.
Cervical cancer is divided into four stages.

Stage 0 denotes the spread of superficial infection spread

Stage 1 is implied by invasion of affected cells into uterus and cervix and also nearby lymph nodes

Stage 2 denotes evident spread of the cancer outside uterus and cervix

Stage 3 reflects on the infection of vagina and lower pelvis

Stage 4 is the level where the cancer cells have spread to other body parts, organs and also lymph nodes

Here’s a detailed break-up of the stages:

Stage I

  • Stage IA – In this stage, the cancer is confined within the cervix and not visible without a microscope. Tit is diagnosed through pap smear test and only limited to top cells of cervical lining.
  • Stage IB – Cancer has progressed beyond Stage IA but still confined within cervix. It may be a bit more advanced, invading with a tumor within deep layers of cervix.

Stage II

  • Stage IIA – Cancer spreads beyond the cervix but not yet reached pelvic walls of lower vagina. It may invade the parametrium tissues but not pelvic sidewalls.
  • Stage IIB – Cancer has spread to the adjacent cervical tissues like parametrium but did not reach the lower part of vagina or pelvic wall. It may raise complications to nearby organs through increased pressure.

Stage III

  • Stage IIIA – Cancer has spread to the lower vagina and pelvic walls but not to sidewall. It may also make the kidneys swell from uterus blockage.
  • Stage IIIB – Cancer has spread to the pelvic walls, causing blockage in uterus, gradually leading to kidney issues. It also affects vagina and extends in nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIC – Cancer has spread to lymph nodes near aorta and lymph nodes.

Stage IV

  • Stage IVA – Cancer at this stage has spread across nearby organs like rectum, bladder and also started to affect lymph nodes beyond pelvic area.
  • Stage IVB – Cancer spread to distant organs beyond lungs, bones, liver, pelvis etc. This is an advanced stage that indicates widespread extent of cancer with multiple-visible complications.

How Can Cervical Cancer Be Diagnosed?

Cervical cancer can be easily detected and its treatment can be started right away to alleviate further risks associated with the disease. The patients affected with cervical cancer are initially screened and then diagnosed before moving on with treatment. The screenings include HPV DNA test & PAP test. Learn in details about them below:

• Colonoscope

Colonoscope is a magnifying instrument is utilized for checking the abnormal cells present in cervix that shows symptoms and signs of cancer cells.

• HPV DNA Screening

The HPV DNA screening makes way for diagnosing cells that are collected from cervical area, infected with HPV infection. The cells likely lead to cancer in cervix. The HPV DNA Test is prescribed to women ageing 30 years and above, especially whose PAP test results could not be determined clearly.

• PAP Test

During carrying out the PAP test, the doctor takes out some cells from the cervix using brushes and scrapes. These cells are then sent to lab for further examination, for finding out any kind of abnormalities. A PAP test helps in detecting unusual cells of the cervix and the ones that show changes, increase risk of cervical cancer.

• Other Tests

  • PET or positron emission tomography
  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • CT scans
  • X-rays
  • Cone biopsy or Conization for cervical cancer treatment in India
  • Electrical wire loop
  • Endocervical curettage
  • Punch biopsy

How Do Doctors Determine The Stage Of Cancer?

After diagnosis, doctors carry out tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Healthcare teams use this information to design a plan for your treatment. Cervical cancer staging tests include:

  • Visual test of rectum and bladder
  • Imaging tests like CT scan, MRI and X-ray and PET scans

Is Cervical Cancer Curable Completely?

Cervical cancer depends on how severe the disease is. At the early-stage cervical cancer symptoms, many patients have their cervix surgically removed. People also opt for radiotherapy or both. On the other hand, patients can also choose radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy, at the advanced stage of cancer.

Treatment Approaches Based On Stages Of Cervical Cancer

Stage I Cervical Cancer Treatment In India

  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is recommended after or before the surgery also in combination with the radiation therapy. It includes involvement of drugs for killing cancer cells or stop them from growing. Chemotherapy can be given orally or intravenously.
  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is used as an alternative to surgery or also in combination with surgery. It includes usage of high-energy beams for killing the cancer cells. Internal radiation (brachytherapy) and external beam radiation are two main types of radiation therapy that is used for cervical cancer.
  • Surgery – Surgery may involve procedure complete or partial removal of vagina, lymph nodes, cervix, uterus etc. In rare cases, cervix is removed but the fertility of women is preserved, for those who want to get pregnant.

Stage II Cervical Cancer Treatment In India

  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is given concurrently via radiation for enhancing its effectiveness. This approach is called chemoradiation and often used for stage 2 or beyond cervical cancer.
  • Radiation Therapy – Alone or in combination, radiation therapy is often considered as the primary treatment option for stage 2 patients. This therapy may include internal or external beam radiation therapy.
  • Combined Therapy – For stage 2 cervical cancer, combination treatments of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery may be recommended. This may include hysterectomy with removal of nearby lymph nides and then followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Stage III Cervical Cancer Treatment In India

  • Palliative Therapy – Palliative care focuses on the improving the quality of life and managing symptoms for patients in this advanced stage. This involves pain management, supportive care and other practices that maintain overall well-being.
  • Surgery – In certain cases, surgery may still be an option for the stage 3 patients who have a good response to chemoradiation.
  • Chemoradiation – This is a standard treatment option for stage 3 cervical cancer. This involves combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, both given at the same time. This approach intends to shrink the tumor and kill cancer cells systematically and locally.

To Cope & To Get Support

With time, patients require support to cope with the uncertainties of cancer treatment and diagnosis. Until that point, the patients have to:

  • Take time for self-care like getting enough rest, relaxing and eating well for combatting fatigue.
  • Set and achieve reasonable goals to have a sense of purpose.
  • Letting the closest people help you stay normal and comfort you in distress.
  • Find a person to have a discussion of feelings. One can also join a support group formed by cancer patients, their family members and even survivors.
  • Learn more about the disease and also ask questions to the doctors for more information.

What Are The Questions To Ask Doctors?

  • What are the causes of my symptoms?
  • What are the tests I am going to take?
  • What treatments are available for my condition?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • After treatment, what should be the frequency of my visits?

What Is The Cost Of Cervical Cancer Treatment In India?

The cost of cervical cancer in India ranges between Rs 3,77,659 and 5,28,722.
Cost of hysterectomy costs starts from Rs 2,26,595
The cost of Chemotherapy for cervical cancer treatment ranges between Rs 37,765 and Rs 75,531
The costs depend on other factors like:

  • Pre and post-surgical expenses
  • Number of tests and investigations
  • Medical follow-ups
  • Involvement of the skilled medical staff
  • Radiation Therapy for cervical cancer treatment and chemotherapy cycles
  • Types of treatment
  • Fees of the oncologist

The Typical Cost Structure Is Represented Below

ProcedureRange (in Dollars)
Chemotherapy300-200 for each cycle

Which country is best for Cervical cancer treatment?

Determining the country for treatment of cervical cancer involves various considerations. People from affluent backgrounds can afford treatment options in many wester countries, but when it comes to a competitive option, India stands out for the following reasons:

  • India’s advanced medical infrastructure for cancer treatment is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that include sophisticated radiation therapy, cutting-edge surgical instruments and more. India’s healthcare arena continuously invests in improving infrastructure for providing world-class cancer care.
  • India houses a large pool of talented as well as highly skilled healthcare professionals like supportive care specialists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, etc. Their dedication and expertise ensure cervical cancer patients get the personalized and comprehensive care, tailored to their needs.
  • India’s healthcare system comes with advanced treatment options for cervical cancer like palliative care, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery etc.
  • India has a tradition of incorporating integrative and alternative medicine alongside alternative treatments. Various cancer research and treatment organizations provide complimentary treatments like acupuncture, yoga naturopathy etc. that aim at providing a better life to the patients.
  • The cost is typically a fraction of other countries
  • The costs are entirely based in the current condition of the patient, hospital, skill of the specialist, type of procedure, etc.
  • The best hospitals offer comprehensive pre-surgical analysis for surgery for Cervical Cancer
  • They also offer options for minimally invasive surgeries
  • The hospitals are accredited by organizations like Joint Commission International, National Accreditation Board For Hospitals & Healthcare Providers

What Factors To Look Out For While Choosing Best Hospital In India For Cervical Cancer Treatment

Choosing the best hospital in India For Cervical Cancer Treatment can be difficult, unless you keep the following factors in mind:

  • Research for hospital reputation
  • Look for specialized cancer centers
  • Loo for the certification of healthcare center and its professionals
  • The hospital must provide assistance to international patients
  • They should work with advanced therapeutic and diagnostic equipment
  • Must have a talented team of surgeons and doctors
  • Must have transportation facility
  • Must have proper accreditations and certification
  • Must have comprehensive treatment options
  • Must carry out clinical trials and research
  • Must adhere to safety and quality standards
  • Must have patient-centric treatment approach

How To Choose The Best Oncologist For Your Cervical Cancer Treatment In India?

While looking for the best oncologist for cervical cancer treatment in India, it is crucial to ensure quality care for optimal outcomes in treatment. Here are a few steps for you to help you choose the right oncologist:

  • Seek gynae oncologist who has experience in cervical cancer treatment
  • Seek for recommendations from trusted sources like support groups, friends or healthcare experts
  • Review patient feedbacks well as online ratings for correctly gauging doctor’s reputation and patient experience
  • Seek oncologist who is associated with reputable cancer centers and hospitals trusted for excellent cancer care
  • Look for recommendations only from trusted sources like support groups, friends and professionals.
  • Look through online ratings and patient feedbacks for gauging patient satisfaction and oncologist’s reputation.
  • Choose an oncologist who is reputed in cancer care.
  • Schedule consultations with various oncologists and try to gauge their treatment plans, approachability and knowledge.
  • Look for an oncologist who offers custom treatment plans as per patient’s preferences and diagnosis.
  • Keep rapport-building, empathy and clear communication as priority.
  • Gather information regarding the oncologist’s involvement with clinical trials and researches or any access to innovative treatments.
  • Avail support services as well as resources provided by hospital or oncologist’s practice.
  • Choose the oncologist with whom you feel comfortable to confide with for your cervical cancer treatment journey.

General FAQs

1.How common is Cervical cancer??

2.Is Cervical cancer curable in india??

3.At what point should I book a consultation with my healthcare provider??

4.What preventative actions can individuals take to lower their risk of cervical cancer??

5.What are precancerous cells??

6.Is the HPV vaccine a cure for cervical cancer? ?

7.What Warning signs are associated with cervical cancer??

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