Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate Cancer Treatment & Its Cost in India

Prostate cancer is a significant health concern worldwide, and India is no exception. As the second most common cancer among men globally, prostate cancer affects a considerable number of individuals in India each year. The management of prostate cancer involves a range of treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and ablative therapies. However, the choice of treatment depends on various factors such as the stage of cancer, the aggressiveness of the disease, the patient’s overall health, and individual preferences.

In India, the landscape of prostate cancer treatment is evolving rapidly, with advancements in medical technology, increased access to healthcare services, and growing awareness about the importance of early detection and intervention. The availability of state-of-the-art medical facilities, experienced healthcare professionals, and cutting-edge treatment modalities has made India a destination of choice for patients seeking quality care at affordable costs. However, while the quality of prostate cancer treatment in India is commendable, it’s essential to consider the associated prostate cancer treatment cost in India. 

Prostate Cancer Treatment in India starts at INR Rs. 95,000, with an average cost of INR Rs. 3,50,000. Costs may vary based on treatment type, hospital, and additional expenses like diagnostics and medications.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer starts in the prostate, a small gland resembling a walnut in males responsible for producing seminal fluid crucial for nourishing and transporting sperm. It stands as one of the most prevalent cancer types, characterized by a spectrum of behaviors ranging from indolent to aggressive.

While numerous prostate cancers exhibit a slow growth pattern and remain localized within the prostate, posing minimal threat, certain aggressive variants possess the propensity to metastasize swiftly. Detecting prostate cancer in its early stages, while it remains confined to the gland, offers the optimal opportunity for effective intervention.

Early diagnosis facilitates a range of treatment options, including watchful waiting, active surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. However, the choice of treatment depends on various factors such as the cancer’s aggressiveness, stage, and the patient’s overall health and preferences.

Regular screenings, typically involving a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE), play a pivotal role in early detection. Additionally, advancements in imaging technologies and biomarker research continue to enhance diagnostic accuracy and refine treatment strategies, thereby improving outcomes and quality of life for individuals diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Types of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer primarily manifests as adenocarcinomas, originating from the gland cells within the prostate responsible for secreting prostate fluid, a vital component of semen. These adenocarcinomas account for nearly all cases of prostate cancer diagnoses.

However, there are other less common types of prostate cancer that can also develop:

Small Cell Carcinoma (Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma):

This type of cancer originates from neuroendocrine cells within the prostate. Small cell carcinoma is relatively rare compared to adenocarcinoma but tends to be more aggressive, spreading rapidly and requiring immediate and intensive treatment.

Other Neuroendocrine Tumors (Including Large Cell Carcinoma):

Apart from small cell carcinoma, there are other neuroendocrine tumors that can arise in the prostate, including large cell carcinoma. These tumors also stem from neuroendocrine cells within the prostate gland. They are relatively rare and may exhibit varying degrees of aggressiveness.

Transitional Cell Carcinoma:

Transitional cell carcinoma is another rare type of prostate cancer that originates from the transitional cells lining the bladder and urinary tract. While it typically occurs in the bladder, it can also affect the prostate. Treatment strategies for transitional cell carcinoma may differ from those for adenocarcinoma.


Sarcomas are cancers that develop from the connective tissues, such as muscles, bones, and blood vessels. Although rare in the prostate, sarcomas can occur and require specialized treatment approaches due to their distinct nature.

It’s important to note that while these alternative types of prostate cancer exist, adenocarcinoma remains by far the most prevalent. When diagnosed with prostate cancer, individuals are likely to have adenocarcinoma. However, understanding the different types of prostate cancer is crucial for tailoring treatment plans and managing the disease effectively, especially in cases of less common and more aggressive variants.

Stages of Prostate Cancer

Stages of Prostate Cancer

Understanding the stage of prostate cancer is crucial in determining the extent of the disease and guiding treatment decisions. Staging categorizes cancer based on its spread within the body, providing insights into prognosis and appropriate therapeutic strategies.

Prostate cancer staging encompasses various stages, each indicating the progression and severity of the disease:

Stage I:

Cancer is confined solely to the prostate gland, with no evidence of spread beyond its boundaries. Treatment options for stage I prostate cancer may include active surveillance, where the cancer is monitored closely but not immediately treated, or localized treatments such as surgery (radical prostatectomy) or radiation therapy.

Stage II:

Cancer remains localized within the prostate but may exhibit higher levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Treatment options typically mirror those for stage I prostate cancer, focusing on local therapies aimed at eradicating or controlling the cancer within the prostate gland.

Stage III:

Cancer may have extended beyond the confines of the prostate gland and invaded nearby tissues or organs, such as the seminal vesicles or nearby lymph nodes. Stage 3 prostate cancer treatment often involves a combination of local therapies, such as surgery or radiation, along with systemic treatments like hormone therapy or chemotherapy to target cancer cells that may have spread beyond the prostate.

Stage IV:

Cancer has metastasized to distant parts of the body, such as the bones, lymph nodes, or other organs. Stage 4 prostate cancer treatment focuses on managing symptoms, slowing disease progression, and improving quality of life. Therapeutic approaches may include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy to alleviate pain or other symptoms, and supportive care.

Line of Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Understand the line of treatment for Prostate Cancer. The treatment options for prostate cancer depend on a few things, like how quickly the cancer is growing, if it has spread, and your overall health. It’s also important to consider the good things the treatment can do for you as well as any side effects it might have.

Immediate Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Immediate treatment may not be necessary for low-grade prostate cancer. In such cases, doctors often recommend active surveillance instead. This involves regular monitoring through blood tests, rectal exams, and prostate biopsies to track cancer progression. If the cancer shows signs of advancing, treatment options like surgery or radiation can be considered. 

Active surveillance is suitable for cancer that is not causing symptoms, expected to grow slowly, and confined to a small area of the prostate. It may also be recommended for individuals with significant health issues or advanced age, where cancer treatment poses greater challenges.

Surgery For Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer surgery, known as radical prostatectomy, involves the removal of the prostate gland, surrounding tissue, and sometimes nearby lymph nodes. This surgical approach is typically employed when the cancer is confined to the prostate or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for advanced cases.

Two main techniques are utilized to access the prostate during surgery:

Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy: This minimally invasive approach involves making several small incisions in the abdomen. Surgical instruments are attached to a robotic device, which is controlled by the surgeon from a console. The surgeon maneuvers the instruments with precision to remove the prostate gland. This method is the most common for prostate cancer surgeries due to its advantages in terms of reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times.

Retropubic surgery: In this less common approach, a single long incision is made in the lower abdomen to access and remove the prostate gland. While not as frequently utilized as the robotic method, it may be necessary in certain cases where the anatomy or extent of the cancer requires a more direct approach.

The choice between these surgical techniques depends on various factors, including the individual’s specific medical condition, anatomy, and surgeon preference. It’s essential to discuss with your doctor to determine the most suitable surgical approach for your situation.

Prostate cancer surgery in India typically ranges from Rs.1,50,000 to Rs.2,50,000. However, the final cost may vary depending on factors such as the type of surgery, hospital fees, surgeon’s expertise, and additional medical expenses.

Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Radiation therapy is a common treatment for prostate cancer, employing high-energy beams to destroy cancerous cells. There are two main approaches to prostate cancer radiation therapy:

External beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from outside the body. Patients lie on a table while a machine moves around them, directing powerful energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to the prostate cancer. Treatment typically occurs five days a week over several weeks. Some centers offer a condensed radiation schedule with higher doses administered over fewer days. External beam radiation is effective for localized prostate cancer and can be used post-surgery to eliminate residual cancer cells or as palliative care for advanced cases, particularly those spreading to the bones.

Brachytherapy involves placing small radioactive seeds directly into the prostate tissue. These seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, emit low-dose radiation over time, effectively targeting the cancer. Brachytherapy is suitable for localized prostate cancer and provides an alternative to external beam radiation. In certain cases, doctors may recommend a combination of both external beam and brachytherapy for comprehensive treatment.

The average cost of radiation therapy for prostate cancer in India falls between Rs.1,50,000 to Rs.3,00,000. However, specific factors like treatment duration, type of radiation, hospital charges, and ancillary medical expenses may influence the final cost.

Ablative Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Ablative therapies utilize extreme temperatures to destroy prostate tissue, offering alternative treatment options for prostate cancer:

Cryoablation, or cryotherapy, involves using extremely cold gas to freeze prostate tissue. This process includes cycles of freezing and thawing, effectively killing cancer cells along with some surrounding healthy tissue.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment employs concentrated ultrasound energy to heat prostate tissue, causing it to die.

These therapies may be considered for treating small prostate cancers, particularly when surgery is not feasible. They can also be used in advanced cases where other treatments like radiation therapy have not been effective.

Researchers are exploring the potential of cryotherapy or HIFU for focal therapy, targeting specific areas of the prostate containing aggressive cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. Focal therapy aims to minimize side effects compared to whole-prostate treatment. However, its effectiveness in terms of long-term survival benefits remains under investigation. Studies indicate that focal therapy may reduce the risk of side effects, but further research is needed to determine its comparative efficacy against conventional treatments targeting the entire prostate.

Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Hormone therapy serves as a crucial treatment strategy for prostate cancer by inhibiting the production of testosterone, which fuels the growth of cancer cells. By depriving cancer cells of testosterone, hormone therapy can either cause them to die off or slow down their growth significantly.

There are several hormone therapy options available:

Medications such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists work by blocking the signals that stimulate testosterone production, effectively reducing testosterone levels in the body.

Anti-androgen medications block testosterone from reaching cancer cells and are often used alongside LHRH agonists to maximize effectiveness.

Orchiectomy, or surgical removal of the testicles, offers a permanent and irreversible means of drastically reducing testosterone levels in the body.

Hormone therapy is typically employed in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer to shrink the tumor and slow its growth. Additionally, it may be administered before radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer to enhance the effectiveness of radiation by reducing the tumor size beforehand. This combination approach is aimed at improving treatment outcomes and controlling the disease progression.

The average cost of prostate cancer hormone therapy ranges from Rs.1,00,000 to Rs.3,00,000 in India.

Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer

Chemotherapy utilizes drugs to target and destroy fast-growing cells, including cancer cells. It can be given intravenously or orally. Chemotherapy is considered for advanced prostate cancer that has metastasized and for cases unresponsive to hormone therapy.

Prostate cancer chemotherapy in India typically ranges from Rs.1,00,000 to Rs.2,50,000. However, the overall cost may vary based on factors such as the specific chemotherapy drugs used, treatment duration, hospital fees, and additional medical expenses incurred.

Immunotherapy For Prostate Cancer

Immunotherapy harnesses the power of the immune system to combat cancer by disrupting mechanisms that enable cancer cells to evade detection. In prostate cancer, immunotherapy approaches include:

Engineering immune cells: Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) treatment involves extracting a patient’s immune cells, modifying them in a laboratory to target prostate cancer, and reintroducing them into the body. This therapy is utilized for advanced prostate cancer resistant to hormone therapy.

Enhancing immune cell recognition: Immunotherapy drugs aid immune cells in recognizing and attacking cancer cells. These medications are administered for advanced prostate cancers unresponsive to hormone therapy. By bolstering the immune system’s ability to identify and destroy cancer cells, immunotherapy offers a promising avenue for treating aggressive prostate cancers and improving patient outcomes.

Targeted Drug Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Targeted drug therapy zeroes in on particular abnormalities found in cancer cells, obstructing their function and prompting their demise. It’s prescribed for advanced or recurrent prostate cancer cases where hormone therapy proves ineffective. Certain targeted therapies are effective only for individuals whose cancer cells harbor specific genetic mutations. 

Laboratory testing may determine if these drugs are suitable for your condition. Targeted drug therapy offers a tailored approach to treating prostate cancer by honing in on the unique characteristics of cancer cells, potentially enhancing treatment efficacy and patient outcomes.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Prostate Cancer Treatment

  • Treatment type: Surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy incur varying costs.
  • Hospital fees: Costs differ among hospitals based on facilities, location, and reputation.
  • Treatment duration: Longer treatment durations may escalate expenses.
  • Medication expenses: Costs for drugs used during treatment contribute to the overall expenditure.
  • Diagnostic tests: Pre-treatment and monitoring tests add to the total cost.
  • Surgeon’s fees: Experienced surgeons may charge higher fees.
  • Additional medical services: Rehabilitation, post-operative care, and ancillary services increase costs.
  • Location: Treatment costs vary regionally within India.


Prostate cancer treatment options in India offer comprehensive care, but costs vary based on treatment type, hospital, and additional services. Early detection and personalized treatment strategies enhance outcomes, empowering patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

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