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Breast Cancer Treatment Cost

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Breast Cancer Cost



Symptoms of Breast Cancer Treatment

Since early detection of breast cancer is crucial to survival, advances in breast cancer treatment have led to breast cancer is one of a few cancers for which effective screening tests and mammography is available to detect the disease early enough, and hence ensure early breast cancer prognosis. Although the symptoms may be caused by things other than breast cancer, one should report to a doctor so as to establish the cause. The symptoms are as follows:

  • A breast change resulting in a painful or painless, hard mass that has irregular edges or sometimes tender, soft and round,
  • Swelling of all or part of a breast even in cases where there’s no lump,
  • Breast or nipple pain,
  • Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened,
  • Unusual nipple discharge.
  • Swollen lymph nodes


How Much Does Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in USA?

Breast cancer treatment costs can vary considerably depending on one’s situation and the cancer stage but mostly averages around $20,000 to $100,000. Despite most insurance covering breast cancer treatment costs, the costs can be very hefty and it’s important for the patient to fully understand all the expenses they’ll incur before, during, and after the treatment so that they can plan wisely.

To get the full information on the breast cancer treatment cost, one should:

  • Talk to their oncologist who will provide the full information costs and may also refer them to groups that may help to pay for their medications and other services. This may include medication assistance programs that are offered by various drug companies.
  • Talk to their doctor about their willingness to take part in a clinical trial.
  • Compare their prescribed medications at different online stores and pharmacies to minimize cost.

Breast Cancer Treatment Cost at Each Stage

  • Stage 0

At this stage, the cancer is a very small tumor at the breast and the treatment cost is around $48,000 at 6 months after diagnosis and around $71,000 at 2 years after diagnosis.

  • Stage 1 and 2

The cancerous tumor grows deeply to adjacent tissues and treatment costs $61,000 to $97,000.

  • Stage 3

The tumor begins to spread to nearby areas and the breast cancer treatment costs $84,000 to 159,000.

  • Stage 4

At this stage, cancer starts to affect other parts of the body. The cost at this stage is around $89,400 to $182,600.

How Much Does Breast Cancer Treatment Cost in India?

The breast cancer treatment cost can be a financial burden, but the overall breast cancer cost in India is affordable in top hospitals with the finest talent, latest equipment, and deep expertise in combating the disease. The breast cancer surgery cost ranges from $ 2,700 - $ 14,600 depending on the type of therapy and the period.

Other Breast Cancer Treatment Costs in USA

During and after the breast cancer treatment, one may need to spend on the following:

  • To cope with the pain or discomfort after breast cancer surgery, one may need the help of a physical therapist. Most health insurance covers cancer treatment physical therapy.
  • Acupuncture for cancer treatment costs averages around $100 to $120 and are also covered by some insurance plans.
  • After a mastectomy, one may need a breast reconstruction which typically costs $5,000-$15,000 per breast.
  • After the chemotherapy or radiation treatment, one may need to cover their hair loss using wigs. Their cost varies from $30-$800 and some insurance may cover them if the doctor writes a prescription.
  • Regular follow-up doctor visits and screening to check for recurrence.
  • Other costs may arise as lost income in one’s financial calculations.

Types of Breast Cancer Treatment Costs in USA

The types of breast cancer treatment may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The type of treatments includes:

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  1. Surgery

The breast-conserving surgery is conducted to remove cancer and some healthy-surrounding tissue but not the breast. In this breast cancer removal surgery, the lymph nodes may also be removed for samples to determine the presence and extent of cancer. Breast cyst removal surgery and breast lump removal surgery may be necessary for unusually highly suspicious situations.

2. Mastectomy ($15,000-$50,000)

This involves the removal of the entire breast and all the surrounding and nearby tissues and may cause pain after breast surgery. The mastectomy breast cancer tumor removal includes:

  • Simple mastectomy-entire breast removed but not the lymph nodes or muscle tissue. It’s recommended in advanced metastatic breast cancer.
  • Double mastectomy-when both breasts are removed.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy-this is breast cancer reconstruction surgery.
  • Modified radical mastectomy
  • Radical mastectomy

3. Radiation

Breast radiation therapy involves utilizing high-energy beams of localized radiation to kill targeted cancer cells. It may be used after surgery or in addition to chemotherapy and may be administered in either external beam radiation or brachytherapy.

4. Chemotherapy ($10,000-$100,000)

These are drugs given to kill cancer cells that are located in the body.

5. Hormone therapy

This is used to stop or slow the growth of hormone receptor-positive tumors by blocking the cancer cells from receiving the hormones they need to grow.

6. Targeted drug therapy

Utilizes specific proteins within the cancer cell, like the HER-2 protein, to stop stimulating tumor growth in cancer cells that have this protein.

Breast Cancer Cost FAQ’s

  • What causes breast cancer?

Answer: Cellular DNA damage that leads to out-of-control growth.

  • Can physical activity reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Answer: Yes, inactivity increases risks.

  • Can a healthy diet help to prevent breast cancer?

Answer: Yes, a poor diet increases the risks, and after breast cancer surgery diet will be recommended by the doctor after the treatment.

  • Does smoking and drinking alcohol cause breast cancer?

Answer: Yes, they both contribute greatly to the risks.

Answer: they are exogenous hormones and increase the risks.

Answer: Yes, the risk is directly associated with the length of exposure.

  • How often should I do a breast self-exam (BSE)?

Answer: once a month and mostly several days after periods.

  • Does a family history of breast cancer put someone at a higher risk?

Answer: Yes, it’s associated with increased ovarian cancer risk.

  • How does menstrual and reproductive history affect breast cancer risks?

Answer: Early menstrual periods before the age of 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose women to hormones longer, raising the risk.

  • How often should I go to my doctor for a check-up?

Answer: once every year.

  • What kind of impact does stress have on breast cancer?

Answer: there’s no link between stress and breast cancer.

  • Can breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Answer: Yes.

  • When should I begin screening for breast cancer?

Answer: at age 40-44 one should start annual screening, and if 45-49 years, screening with mammograms every year is recommended.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Philip Agutu

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