Dealing with Fallopian Tube Cancer can be a challenging experience for any individual. Aside from the emotional and physical challenges, the financial burden of cancer treatment is a significant concern for patients and their families. As the cost of healthcare continues to rise globally, it becomes crucial to explore viable treatment options that are both effective and affordable.
In recent years, India has emerged as a preferred destination for medical tourism, providing high-quality healthcare services at a fraction of the cost compared to other countries.
Fallopian Tube Cancer treatment cost in India for Indian patients is between Rs. 288600 to Rs. 384800, while the price for International patients is between USD 5850 to USD 7150.
What is Fallopian Tube Cancer?
Fallopian Tube or Tubal Cancer develops when there is an abnormal expansion of cancerous cells in one or both fallopian tubes that connect a woman's uterus and the ovaries. In some cases, the cancer originates from the end of the tube near the ovary and spreads to the ovary.
Fallopian tube cancer is similar to ovarian epithelial cancer and is staged and treated similarly. It accounts for only 1% of all reproductive cancers in women. Over 90% of fallopian tube cancers are serous or high-grade endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Other cell types have been reported but are rare.
Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancer
Fallopian Tube Cancer is challenging to detect early on since the signs are unclear until cancer has progressed. Most of the symptoms are nonspecific, and the origin of a specific symptom could be linked to a completely unrelated medical issue, not necessarily cancer.
The key symptoms associated with Fallopian Tube Cancer include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty in eating and feeling full quickly
- Frequent urination
- Pain and bloating in the pelvis or abdomen
- Indigestion & Constipation
- Frequent back pain
- Lump in the lower abdomen region
- A sensation of pressure on the bowel and bladder
- Urine and bowel retention
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharge may be transparent, white, or have a tinge of blood
- Menstrual irregularities
Factors Increasing the Chances of Developing Fallopian Tube Cancer
- More than half of women developing Fallopian Tube Cancer are over 63
- Mutations to the breast cancer (BRCA) gene
- Family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or fallopian tube cancer
- Infertility problems or having no pregnancies
- Menstruation that begins before age 12 or late menopause
- Hormone replacement therapy after menopause
- Inherited conditions, such as Lynch syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
- Obesity (especially during early adulthood)
Diagnosis of Fallopian Tube Cancer
Fallopian Tube Cancer is a challenging type of cancer to diagnose due to its rare occurrence. It is often diagnosed when the patient is in the middle of surgery for another ailment.
However, a few particular tests can be used to detect and diagnose this condition. These include:
- Pelvic Exam: This is a physical examination of the pelvis to detect abnormalities.
- Blood Test (CA125 Test): CA125 is a protein found in human blood. During pregnancy, menstruation, gynecological illnesses, and cancer, the CA125 levels tend to increase. As part of the check-up for Fallopian Tube Cancer, a test is performed to determine the levels of CA125 protein in the body.
- Ultrasound: A pelvic ultrasound may be recommended for cancer detection. This scan captures images of the pelvic region using high-frequency sound waves.
- CT Scan: A CT scan uses an X-ray machine to acquire photographs of the inside of the body, which are then reproduced in a computer. A special dye may be given intravenously or swallowed during the scan to obtain clearer organ images.
Treatment of Fallopian Tube Cancer
The treatment of Fallopian Tube Cancer is recommended based on the following:
- The stage of the disease
- Exact location
- Size of the tumor
- Overall condition of the patient
- Preference of the patient
The three treatment options available include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Surgery may be recommended by the doctor to remove the diseased portion of the fallopian tube, the entire fallopian tube, or the fallopian tube along with the surrounding organs, depending on the stage of the disease.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy: The diseased fallopian tube and ovary are removed during a salpingo-oophorectomy.
- Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy: It is a procedure where both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries are removed.
- Hysterectomy: The internal reproductive organs, namely the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus, are removed during a hysterectomy.
- Omentectomy: The omentum, a fat apron extending down from the stomach, is removed if there are any signs of spread.
- Bowel Resection: Surgery may be required if the cancer has spread to the bowel.
- Cytoreductive/Debulking Surgery: Debulking surgery is performed in the cases of advanced-stage fallopian tube cancers, where they have spread to nearby organs. The purpose of debulking surgery is to operate as much tumor as possible. This surgery helps relieve the symptoms and improve the efficacy of other treatments in combination with the surgery, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The leading hospitals in India provide Robotic Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System. A key factor behind the wide acceptance of robotic surgery is how it can handle complex operations with utmost precision.
Doctors specially trained in robotic surgery can have total control and flexibility over the entire procedure, which is impossible during traditional surgical operations. In most cases, robotic surgery is usually used for minimally invasive procedures.
It is performed by creating tiny incisions. However, the technique can sometimes be combined with specific types of open surgical processes. With this technique, the surgeries can improve dramatically, especially in areas like imagining, accuracy, control, and resourcefulness.
Robotic surgery is now assisting specially trained surgeons to skillfully perform complicated operations that were not imaginable until a few years ago.
Chemotherapy uses potent cancer-killing drugs to destroy cancer cells throughout the body as systemic therapy. Chemotherapy is often combined with surgery (before or after). It helps manage secondary cancers as a systemic treatment and destroys cancer cells throughout the body.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells precisely. Radiation therapy is hardly used for the management of fallopian tube cancers.
Why Choose India for Fallopian Tube Cancer Treatment?
Choosing India for Fallopian tube cancer treatment can be advantageous for several reasons:
- Medical expertise: India is home to highly skilled and experienced medical professionals, including oncologists specializing in gynecological cancers, with international recognition.
- Advanced treatment facilities: India has a well-developed healthcare infrastructure with state-of-the-art medical facilities and advanced technology for cancer diagnosis, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Leading hospitals in India are equipped with the latest medical equipment and adhere to global standards of care.
- Cost-effective treatment: Compared to many other countries, the cost of cancer treatment in India is significantly lower. Patients can often access high-quality medical services at a fraction of the cost, making it an affordable option, especially for those without comprehensive health insurance coverage.
- Minimal waiting time: In countries with public healthcare systems, there can be long waiting times for cancer treatment. In India, private hospitals often have shorter waiting times, allowing patients to start treatment promptly.
- Language and cultural diversity: India has a large English-speaking population, which makes it easier for international patients to communicate with doctors and medical staff. Additionally, the country's cultural diversity makes it welcoming and comfortable for patients from different backgrounds.
Top Doctors in India Providing Fallopian Tube Cancer Treatment
- Dr. Shakti Bhan Khanna: She is a Gynecologist and Obstetrician of great repute, practicing for over 54 years. She has experience in various fields of gynecology like Gynae-oncology, Gynae endocrinology, infertility, high-risk pregnancies, pelvic reconstructive surgery, etc.
- Dr. Nutan Agarwal: She is one of the reputed Obstetricians and Gynecologists with over 37 years of experience. Her expertise includes managing recurrent pregnancy losses, PCOS, abnormal uterine bleeding, menopause, ovarian tumors, laparoscopic surgeries, infertility, IVF, and vaginal plastic surgeries.
- Dr. Sumana Manohar: She is among the top Obstetricians and Gynecologists with over 34 years of experience. Her expertise includes Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, Robotic Surgery, Rapid Access and Colposcopy, Antenatal Services, Ambulatory Obstetrics, etc.
- Dr. Rama Joshi: She is among the top Gyne Oncologists in India, having over 26 years of experience. She specializes in all kinds of cancer surgeries, such as high-risk pregnancies, treatment of cancer of the uterus, treatment of cancer of the ovaries, and the female reproductive system.
- Dr. Aruna Kalra: She is one of the best Gynecologists and Obstetricians with over 18 years of experience. Her areas of expertise include Female Infertility Treatment, High-Risk Pregnancy Care, Normal Vaginal Delivery (Painless), Laparoscopic Myomectomy, Laparoscopy Hysterectomy, etc.
It is important to note that thorough research and consultation with healthcare professionals are crucial when considering medical treatment. It's advisable to assess the reputation and credentials of the specific hospitals and doctors, review patient testimonials, and understand the logistics and travel requirements involved in seeking treatment in India.