Bowel Cancer Treatment

Bowel Cancer Treatment and Its Cost In India

Bowel cancer is a significant health concern globally, including in India. With rising incidence rates, understanding the treatment options and associated costs is crucial for patients and healthcare providers alike. In India, the landscape of bowel cancer treatment encompasses various modalities, ranging from surgery and chemotherapy to radiation therapy and targeted therapies. However, accessing these treatments comes with financial considerations. The cost of bowel cancer treatment in India varies based on several factors, including the stage of cancer, the expertise of the medical team, the choice of hospital, and the specific treatment approach. 

In India, the cost for treating bowel cancer usually falls between Rs. 3,00,000 to 6,00,000. Hospitals in different cities might have different prices for the same treatment. So, while Rs. 3,00,000 to 6,00,000 is the average, you might find variations. 

What is Bowel Cancer?

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, targets the large bowel comprising the colon and rectum. It’s the uncontrollable division and growth of abnormal cells. These cells have the potential to infiltrate nearby tissues or organs and metastasize to distant parts of the body. Bowel cancer poses a significant health threat due to its ability to spread rapidly and affect vital bodily functions. 

Understanding its origins and progression is crucial for early detection and effective treatment, thereby enhancing the chances of successful outcomes for affected individuals.

Types of Bowel Cancer

Here are the different types of Bowel Cancers:


Adenocarcinomas, constituting approximately 90% of bowel cancer cases, originate from gland cells within the bowel lining. They are the most prevalent type of bowel cancer, characterized by their development in the mucosal layer of the colon or rectum. Adenocarcinomas typically progress slowly, allowing for early detection through screening tests such as colonoscopies or fecal occult blood tests.

Squamous Cell Cancers

Squamous cell cancers of the bowel are less common compared to adenocarcinomas. They arise from the skin-like cells of the bowel lining. Squamous cell cancers present unique diagnostic and treatment challenges due to their rarity and distinct cellular origins within the gastrointestinal tract.

Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs)

Neuroendocrine tumors, though rare, can affect the bowel. These tumors originate from hormone-producing cells in the bowel lining. NETs often exhibit different clinical behaviors compared to adenocarcinomas, requiring specialized diagnostic approaches and tailored treatment strategies for optimal management.

Small Bowel Cancer

Small bowel cancer, although less prevalent than colon or rectal cancers, can still occur within the small intestine. Diagnosis of small bowel cancer may be challenging due to its location and nonspecific symptoms. Treatment options for small bowel cancer may differ from those for other types of bowel cancer, necessitating careful consideration by healthcare providers.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs)

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors originate from specialized cells within the gastrointestinal tract, including the bowel. Although relatively uncommon, GISTs may present with varying clinical manifestations and treatment responses. Accurate diagnosis and staging are crucial for determining the most appropriate management approach for patients with GISTs.


Lymphomas affecting the bowel arise from lymphatic tissue within the gastrointestinal tract. While less frequent compared to adenocarcinomas, lymphomas require distinct diagnostic techniques and treatment modalities tailored to their unique cellular characteristics and clinical behavior within the bowel.

Line of Treatment For Bowel Cancer

Bowel Cancer

Understand the line of treatment for Bowel Cancer:

Surgery For Bowel Cancer

Surgery is a primary treatment option for removing cancer from the bowel. Depending on the extent and location of the cancer, either a portion or the entirety of the affected bowel may need to be surgically excised. This procedure aims to eliminate the cancerous growth and prevent its spread to adjacent tissues or organs.

In some cases, to aid in the recovery process, a colostomy or ileostomy may be necessary. These surgical interventions involve creating an opening in the abdominal wall through which waste can pass out of the body into a pouch, bypassing the affected section of the bowel. A colostomy involves diverting the colon, while an ileostomy diverts the small intestine. These ostomies can be either temporary, allowing the bowel time to heal before being reversed, or permanent, depending on the individual’s condition and the extent of the surgery.

Throughout the entire surgical process, from preoperative preparation to postoperative care, patients receive comprehensive support and guidance from their specialized treatment team. This team typically includes surgeons, oncologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the patient. Their expertise and assistance play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate through surgery and achieve a successful recovery.

The cost of bowel cancer surgery isn’t fixed and can vary based on a few things. First, it depends on how advanced the cancer is. Then, the specific surgery needed and where it’s done play a role. Also, the surgeon’s fees are part of the equation. On average, you might end up paying somewhere between INR 2,00,000 to INR 8,00,000, but sometimes it could be more. It’s important to keep in mind these factors and plan accordingly when considering treatment options for bowel cancer.

Chemotherapy For Bowel Cancer

Chemotherapy is a powerful treatment that utilizes medication to target and destroy cancer cells within the body. In the context of bowel cancer, chemotherapy serves several important purposes in the treatment plan.

Firstly, chemotherapy may be administered after surgery with the aim of preventing the cancer from recurring. Even after successful surgical removal of the tumor, there can be lingering cancer cells that chemotherapy helps to eradicate, reducing the risk of a relapse.

Secondly, chemotherapy becomes a crucial option for individuals who are not suitable candidates for surgery due to various reasons such as advanced stage of cancer or underlying health conditions that preclude surgical intervention. In such cases, chemotherapy serves as a primary treatment modality to directly target and shrink the tumor, aiming to slow down its progression and alleviate symptoms.

Finally, chemotherapy is often recommended when cancer has metastasized, meaning it has spread from the bowel to other parts of the body such as the liver or lungs. In this scenario, chemotherapy is essential in controlling the spread of the disease, managing symptoms, and improving overall quality of life.

Despite its potential side effects, which can vary from person to person, chemotherapy plays a crucial role in the comprehensive treatment approach to bowel cancer, offering hope and extending survival for many individuals affected by this disease.

Radiation Therapy For Bowel Cancer

Radiotherapy is a specialized treatment modality that harnesses the power of radiation to effectively eradicate cancer cells. In the context of bowel cancer, radiotherapy targets tumors directly, aiming to destroy cancerous cells and inhibit their ability to proliferate.

The procedure involves the use of a machine that emits focused beams of radiation, precisely directed at the site of the tumor. This targeted approach helps to minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissues while maximizing the impact on cancer cells.

Individuals with bowel cancer may undergo radiotherapy under specific circumstances. Firstly, if the cancer is located in the rectum, radiotherapy becomes a viable treatment option. By delivering radiation directly to the affected area, radiotherapy can effectively shrink the tumor and improve the chances of successful surgical removal or enhance the efficacy of other treatment modalities.

Secondly, radiotherapy may be recommended if the cancer has metastasized, spreading to other parts of the body beyond the bowel. In such cases, radiotherapy serves to target and control the growth of cancer cells in these distant sites, helping to alleviate symptoms, improve quality of life, and potentially extend survival.

While radiotherapy may have some side effects, such as fatigue, skin irritation, or gastrointestinal discomfort, its role in the management of bowel cancer is significant, offering patients additional treatment options and enhancing overall outcomes in their fight against this disease.

In India, the cost of radiation therapy for bowel cancer typically ranges from Rs. 2,50,000 to Rs. 5,50,000. However, these prices can fluctuate depending on the hospital’s location in different cities. It’s essential to note that while this is the average cost, you might encounter variations based on where you seek treatment.

Targeted Medicines and Immunotherapy For Bowel Cancer

Targeted therapies and immunotherapy represent cutting-edge approaches in cancer treatment, particularly in addressing advanced stages of diseases like bowel cancer that have metastasized to distant sites in the body.

Targeted therapies employ drugs designed to specifically interfere with molecules or pathways critical for cancer cell growth and survival. By honing in on these specific targets, such therapies can effectively inhibit tumor growth while minimizing damage to healthy cells. In the context of advanced bowel cancer, targeted medicines work by disrupting the mechanisms that drive the spread and proliferation of cancer cells throughout the body. This precision targeting holds promise for improved treatment outcomes and reduced side effects compared to traditional chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy, on the other hand, harnesses the power of the body’s own immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. This approach involves using medications to stimulate or enhance the immune response against cancer. By activating immune cells or blocking inhibitory pathways, immunotherapy can help overcome the mechanisms employed by cancer cells to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. In the case of advanced bowel cancer, immunotherapy aims to bolster the immune system’s ability to identify and eradicate cancer cells, potentially leading to durable responses and prolonged survival for patients.

The cost of immunotherapy for bowel cancer can vary depending on the patient’s individual conditions and treatment regimen. Typically, patients undergo multiple sessions of immunotherapy over the course of a month or longer, tailored to their specific needs. Each session generally incurs a cost ranging from ₹1 to 1.5 lakh, subject to clinical considerations. It’s important for patients to discuss treatment plans with their healthcare providers to understand the frequency and duration of immunotherapy sessions, as well as the associated financial implications, ensuring informed decision-making regarding their cancer care journey.

Factors Affecting Bowel Cancer Treatment Cost in India

There are several factors affecting the cost of Bowel Cancer Treatment in India:

Doctor’s Experience Level

  • The expertise and experience of the treating doctor significantly influence treatment costs.
  • Highly experienced oncologists or surgeons may charge higher consultation and procedural fees.

Hospital of Choice

  • The choice of hospital can greatly impact treatment expenses.
  • Premium hospitals with state-of-the-art facilities and specialized oncology departments tend to charge higher fees for services.

Stage of Cancer

  • The stage at which colorectal cancer is diagnosed plays a crucial role in treatment costs.
  • Early-stage cancers may require less aggressive treatment modalities, resulting in lower overall expenses compared to advanced-stage cancers.

Line of Treatment Chosen

  • The selected treatment approach, whether surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these, influences costs.
  • Advanced treatments such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy may incur additional expenses due to the use of specialized drugs or equipment.

Diagnostic Procedures

  • Diagnostic tests such as colonoscopies, biopsies, imaging scans, and laboratory tests contribute to the overall treatment cost.
  • The frequency and complexity of these tests may vary based on the patient’s condition and the stage of cancer.

Medication Costs

  • The cost of medications, including chemotherapy drugs, supportive medications, and pain management drugs, adds to the overall treatment expenses.
  • Some medications may be expensive or require long-term use, impacting the financial burden on patients.

Additional Services

  • Ancillary services such as nursing care, rehabilitation, counseling, and palliative care contribute to the overall cost of treatment.
  • Access to supportive services and amenities may vary depending on the healthcare facility chosen.

Understanding these factors is essential for patients and their families to make informed decisions regarding bowel cancer treatment in India, considering both medical and financial aspects.


From surgeries to chemotherapy and targeted therapies, patients have a range of paths to consider, each tailored to their unique needs. Yet, alongside medical decisions, there’s the financial aspect – the expertise of doctors, the hospital chosen, the stage of cancer, and the treatment method all come into play. With this knowledge, patients can make choices that not only address their health needs but also consider their financial well-being, ensuring a smoother journey towards recovery and better health outcomes.

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