When Adjuvant Therapy is required?
Adjuvant therapy primarily includes all those post surgical therapies that are given to a cancer patient to ensure a complete recovery and also reduces the chance of recurrence of the disease. Adjuvant therapy comprises chemo therapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy and others.
This therapy is basically given as an additional treatment to the primary surgical one. It mainly strives for the overall recovery of the patient and extends his survival span. It is required for various types of cancer of the lung, breast, prostate, colon and others.
Types of Adjuvant Therapy
The commonly recommended adjuvant therapies used by the oncologists for treating a cancer patient includes:
- Chemotherapy- This is generally injected into the patient’s body that kills the malignant cells and stops the abnormal growth of cancer. It gets circulated in the entire body, destroying the cancer cells wherever they are located.
- Radiation therapy- In this procedure, often the patient receives high powered energy beams externally that has a negative impact on the cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be given to the patient internally also, depending on his/her situation. Adjuvant radiation therapy focuses mainly on the primary cancer site so as to prevent the recurrence of the disease.
- Hormone therapy- This therapy helps in curbing the production of certain hormones that trigger the growth of cancer cells. Hormonal therapy is often prescribed along with radiation or chemo therapies.
- Immunotherapy- This technique is used to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight the cancer cells. It helps in either supplementing or stimulating the body’s natural defenses.
- Targeted therapy- This therapy facilitates in altering the cancer cells which have abnormalities in them. Medications are often given which target some specific proteins present in the abnormal cells.
Different methods to perform Adjuvant Therapy
There are different methods of performing adjuvant therapy depending n the type and stage of cancer.
- Like chemotherapy often includes the usage of a combination of anti cancer drugs and helps preventing cell division. Adjuvant chemotherapy is often used after the tumor has been surgically removed to reduce the chances of relapse of cancer in the near future. Chemotherapy can be injected into the body, given through the intravenous method through a thin needle fitted into the vein of the hand, can be taken orally or also through a catheter if need arises.
- Adjuvant radiation therapy often assures successful results in treating cancer patients. Radiation therapy can be either given externally or internally (brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy is another method where radioactive substance is either taken orally or infused into the blood that travels throughout the body.
- Hormonal therapy used mainly in breast, prostate and ovarian cancer comprises the intake of medications that curtails the cancer cells from getting the hormones that initiate their growth.
- For immunotherapy, medications are given that stimulates the natural hormones in the body to fight the cancer cells. This curbs the spread of cancer from the primary site and also lessens the chance of recurrence of the disease.
Precautions / Points to remember
Patients suffering from cancer should remember that adjuvant therapy might not benefit everyone. Thus, the patient should remember to seek advice from the oncologist before undertaking the therapies,
- Some microscopic bits of cancer may remain undetectable and adjuvant therapy might help in such cases.
- Hormonal adjuvant therapy may not b effective if the patient’s malignant tumor is not sensitive to that particular hormone.
- Adjuvant therapies do not assure completely the recurrence of the disease.
- Adjuvant chemo therapy might result in nausea, mucositis, and myelosuppression along with alopecia.
- Adjuvant radiation therapy can cause skin irritations, fatigue and other related difficulties.
Success rate of Adjuvant Therapy
The success of adjuvant therapy after the removal of the cancerous tumor depends significantly on the type and stage of cancer. If the cancer is at an advanced stage, then adjuvant therapy might not be of great help. Also, If more lymph nodes are affected by cancer, then there persists a greater chance that more cancer cells will remain even after the surgery. Thus, in such cases disease and type specific therapy should be given for effective results. Generally in majority of cancers, adjuvant therapies have been successful in eradicating the cancer cells, thereby enhancing the recovery of the patient and reducing the risks of recurrence of the disease.
Cost of Adjuvant Therapy in India
Each chemo therapy session in India commences from approximately $900 and the radiation therapy comes in different packages depending upon the need of the patient. On an average, the entire treatment package amounts to $9500 inclusive of surgery and additional adjuvant therapies. Thus, the total cost required for the treatment in India when compared to the cost in the western countries is much lower.
Top Indian hospitals for Adjuvant Therapy
India has a number of hospitals catering to the needs of the cancer patients.
- Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
- Apollo Cancer Institute, Chennai
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon
- Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai
- Global Health City, Chennai
- BGS Global Hospital, Bengaluru
- Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai
- Yashoda Cancer Institute,Hyderabad
- Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
- Continental Cancer Institute and Radiation Center, Hyderabad
Best Adjuvant Therapy surgeons in India
The major hospitals in India have an expert team of oncologist treating patients from all across the world. Some of the most experienced doctors in this field are:
- Kamran Ahmed Khan ( Global Hospitals, Mumbai)
- Rajendra Badwe ( Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)
- Vedant Kabra (Fortis Memorial Research Hospital, Gurgaon )
- Sameer Kaul ( Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi)
- Sanjay Dudhat ( Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai)
- Boman Dhanbar ( Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai)
- Jayanti S Thumsi ( BGS Global Hospital, Benagluru)
- Harsh Dua (Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi)
- Jai Prakash Agarwal ( Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai)
- Ravindra Vottery ( Yashoda Cancer Insitute, Hyderabad)
- A patient from Tanzania writes:
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- A 55 year old patient from Ireland narrates about his experience in India:
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