he treatment of stomach cancer depends to a large extent on where the cancer started in the stomach and how far it has spread. Diagnosing the stomach cancer accurately is the first thing that oncology experts are focused on and there are a few ways that are usually employed to help the doctors locate the tumor and thus advise on the best approach.
As with many types of cancer, the main treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. here are the details of how these are used, the costs and availability, depending on the stage of the stomach cancer.
The patient may have surgery combined with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or on its own. Oncology specialists will plan the treatment taking into account:
The earlier your stomach cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to get it under control and possibly cure it. If your cancer is diagnosed before it has spread, your oncology specialist will almost certainly advise you to have surgery. The surgery for stomach cancer is a complicated procedure that requires the individual to be fit for the operation in order to minimize the risks as much as possible. If the tumor has advanced, there a combinations of treatments available worldwide.
Because stage 0 stomach cancers are limited to the inner lining layer of the stomach and have not spread to deeper layers, the treatment can be surgery alone.
Either subtotal gastrectomy (removal of part of the stomach) or total gastrectomy (removal of the entire stomach) is often the main treatment. Lymph nodes that are close to the stomach cancer are also removed during the procedure.
Some small stage 0 cancers of the stomach can be removed by endoscopic resection, where an endoscope is passed down the throat, and, using this minimally invasive technique the surgeon is able to remove the affected area.
There are two types of stage 1 stomach cancer:
Stage 1A: when the cancer and nearing lymphatic nodes are typically removed by total or subtotal gastrectomy. At this stage, endoscopic resection is rarely an option for small T1A cancers, and adjacent treatments are rarely recommended after stomach cancer surgery.
Stage 1B: when the stomach cancer is removed by surgery (total or subtotal gastrectomy) and Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy (or both) may be given before surgery to try to shrink or make the tumor stagnate to make it easier to remove.
Chemotherapy at Stage 1 Stomach Cancer is used in several cases:
After cancer surgery, the removed lymph nodes are analyzed to see if they show signs of cancer spread and the doctor will recommend radiation therapy or chemotherapy alone. This is mostly recommended for patients who hadn’t undergone this type of therapy prior to surgery, however, chemotherapy (not radiation therapy) is recommended to those who had chemo therapies before surgery.
If the lymph node analysis shows signs of cancer, then the oncologist will recommend radiation therapy, chemo alone, or a combination of the two.
When other illnesses make a person not eligible for stomach cancer surgery, they may be treated with radiation therapy if their condition and overall health allows it. Other options include IMRT or Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or only chemotherapy.
The main treatment at this stage of stomach cancer is surgery to remove all or part of the stomach, the omentum (a fold of peritoneum connecting the stomach with other abdominal organs) and nearby lymph nodes. Similar to stage 1, patients can also be treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy prior to surgery to make the tumor easier to remove. After surgery, treatment may include radiation therapy or chemotherapy alone.
If other conditions are complicating the patient’s health, preventing him/her to undergo surgery, then radiation therapy, IMRT, Brachytherapy or chemotherapy are recommended.
As in stages 1 and 2, cancer surgery is the main treatment for these patients. Patients who get chemo before surgery will most likely get chemo after, as well. For patients who don’t get chemo before surgery and for those who have surgery but have some cancer left in the stomach, treatment after surgery is usually radiation therapy. Other conditions that the patient may suffer from can result in treating the stomach cancer with chemoradiation, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
This is the most widespread cancer that is rarely completely cured, however, treatment can often help to keep the cancer under control and help relieve its symptoms.
Options for treatment:
Because these cancers can be hard to treat, new treatments being tested in clinical trials may benefit some patients.
Even if treatments do not destroy or shrink the cancerous tumor in the stomach, there are ways to relieve pain and symptoms from the disease. Patients should tell their oncology team about any symptoms or pain they have right way, so they can be managed effectively.
Cancer that comes back after initial treatment is known as recurrent cancer and the treatment options are generally the same as they are for stage IV cancers. But they also depend on where the cancer recurs, what cancer treatments a person has already had, and the person’s general health.
Clinical trials or newer treatments may be an option and should always be considered.
With no two cancer treatments alike, it is imperative that accurate diagnosis is given before you can be given the the full costs. The doses of chemotherapy differ in cost throughout the world and radiation therapies and oncology surgeons fees also depend on factors such as location, experience and availability. Medical tourism has made traveling for effective cancer treatments easier and the average prices are easier to get in order to get an idea of the treatment options avross the border. To understand what the best treatment options are for you, here are a few average prices from around the world that can help you decide where to get treated.
Stomach cancer surgery
In the USA stomach cancer surgery can cost around $40,000, while in Italy the price is of $12,900 and in India the procedure costs $7,500.
In the United States the chemo cost runs anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 a month depending on the drug and intake method. In Thailand, monthly costs run from $1,000 a month, while in India and Turkey, costs average about $1,200 per month.
IMRT – Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
The costs for IMRT depends not only on the location, but also on the size of the tumor being treated. In the United States, IMRT may cost up to $100,000. General prices for IMRT may average around $50,000 to $60,000, but may not include doctor's charges. However, the therapy is also available in Turkey and India, where the same treatments can cost around $10,000.
In the USA, the costs of Brachytherapy is of around $25,000, depending on the number of treatments, and the type of brachytherapy selected. Individuals traveling abroad for stomach cancer treatment, to Turkey, India or Mexico for low dose or high dose brachytherapy treatments may save hundreds or thousands of dollars on the same effective treatments.
Patients in the United States can expect to pay anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 for CyberKnife treatments, which may or may not include follow-up visits and hospitalization costs. Patients traveling to locations such as Turkey, India & South Korea may save a lot on their treatments as the costs in these countries vary between $12,000 and $45,000.
Cost for radiation therapy may depend on how many "sessions" you need. For example, a 5-day/week for 5 weeks radiation therapy treatment can vary between $15,000 and $60,000 in the U.S.A.
In countries such as India and Turkey, radiation therapy cost can be around $800-$5,600 for a course of treatment. Again, the treatment cost depends on the stage of cancer.
You can benefit from advanced stomach cancer treatments and take part in clinical trials for stomach cancer worldwide.
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