Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases, in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to the rest of the body parts. Cancer, which is made up of trillion of cells, can begin forming anywhere within the human body. 

Normally, human cells do grow and multiply via a process known as cell division to form new cells as the body requires them. As old cells grow old or become damaged, they die and are replaced with these new cells. Sometimes, this process breaks down and damaged, or abnormal cells grow and multiply when technically they shouldn’t. These cells may then form lumps of tissues, commonly known as tumours. Tumours can be both cancerous as well as not cancerous (benign). 

However, cancerous tumours pan out into or attack nearby tissues and then travel to distant parts of the body to form new tumours known as metastasis. Cancerous tumours can also be called malignant tumours. Many cancers include solid tumours, but cancers of the blood, specifically leukaemia, generally do not. Benign tumours do not spread into or attack other nearby tissues. If benign tumours are removed, they don’t usually grow back, whereas chances of cancerous tumours growing back still exist. Benign tumours can sometimes be quite large. Some can cause severe symptoms or can even be life-threatening, such as benign tumours in the brain. 

Since cancer is deadly, the entire treatment procedure for it is pretty vigorous and extensive. The cost for the treatment is hence above the roof. Since there has been a rise in cancer cases and its cost of treatment, due to advanced technology, it is best to take good care of our health by following a healthy lifestyle. The fight against cancer is emotionally, physically, and financially draining. 

Money is the last thing on any person’s mind when doctors say the spine-chilling, scary word – cancer. It’s the fight for survival and to kick the butt of this dreadful disease. However, several government initiatives have become a beacon of hope. These organizations strive to provide affordable cancer treatment to patients in India. Additionally, in the country, some renowned institutes provide end-to-end, free cancer treatment with the help of the government and donations offered by the rest of the world. It is a small effort to make the cancer patients and their loved ones’ lives a little easier at such a life-threatening moment.

Here’s a list of such institutes:

  1. Tata Memorial Hospital (THM)

THM is one of the oldest cancer hospitals in Mumbai, India. It was set up by Sir Dorabji Tata in 1941. This hospital ranks the highest in the list of best and most advanced cancer centers in India. It takes immense pride in offering free care to around 70% of its cancer patients, AND 60% get primary cancer treatment at the hospital. Leading cancer research, Tata Memorial is also known for its Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research, and Education in Cancer (ACTREC). Almost 8500 noteworthy operations are performed every year, and 6000 patients are treated with Chemotherapy and Radiology every year in multidisciplinary programs conveying established treatments. It also has the equipment to conduct ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, real-time nuclear medicine scanning, PET Scans, and more. The hospital also provides supportive care like patient counselling, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, patient counselling, medical social work, total rehabilitation, and more. 

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Address: Dr. E Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai – 400 012, India

Website: https://tmc.gov.in/index.php/en/

Phone: +91-22- 24177000, 24146750 – 55

fax: +91-22-24146937

E-mail: msoffice@tmc.gov.in; hrd@tmc.gov.in

2. Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology (KMIO)

KMIO is one of the most reputed institutes for cancer treatment in Bangalore, India, and is armed with sophisticated machines and modern infrastructure. This self-ruling organization under the Government of Karnataka was in the year 1980 made a regional government hospital. It provides free-of-cost treatment to people living below the poverty line and is funded by the Indian government. The Kidwai Cancer Drug Foundation (KCDF), a unit of KMIO, was established to provide cancer medicines at least 40% to 60% cheaper than market prices. The state government of Karnataka works quite closely with this institute to run schemes for the underprivileged and offer financial aid for their respective cancer treatments. Every year the hospital registers about 17,000 new cancer patient cases. This institute also spreads cancer awareness through community programs. It has also set up a cancer detection clinic to aid free diagnosis of cancer. 

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Address: Dr. M.H Marigowda Road, Bangalore – 560029, Karnataka, India

Website: nhp.gov.in/hospital/kidwai-memorial-institute-of-oncology-bangalore-karnataka/ www.kidwai.kar.nic.in

Phone: 091-080-26094000

Fax: 091-080-6560723

E-mail: kidwai@kar.nic.innn

3. Regional Cancer Centre

Established in 1981 by the Government of Kerala and the Government of India, RCC is based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and is globally recognized to provide cancer treatment and research. The RCC is owned by the state and functions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s ‘National Cancer Control Program’. It is also known for its pioneering work in offering free treatment to cancer patients with limited financial means. Its policies have given children and poor individuals free of cost access to modern oncology services. Even modern facilities such as isotope, CT scan, and chemotherapy are offered for free. The RCC provides free cancer treatment to about 60% of its patients.

In comparison, subsidies are provided to 29% of patients belonging to the middle earning class. All adults with a curable type of cancer and children can take advantage of free treatment regardless of their income group. RCC contains a ‘Cancer Care for Life’ (CCL) scheme to collect funds for people battling cancer. It is estimated that drugs holding a market value of Rs 80 lacs have been provided for free by RCC to the underprivileged in the last 5 years. Modern facilities for the treatment of cancer, along with specialist training in the field of oncology, are benchmarks of this healthcare entity.

Location: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Address: Medical College Campus, Medical College Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695011, India

Website: https://www.rcctvm.gov.in/

Phone: +91-471-2442541

Fax: +91-471-2442539

E-mail: Medical Superintendent – medsupdt@rcctvm.gov.in

4. Cancer Aid and Research Foundation (CARF) 

CARF is a medical NGO and non-profit charitable organization founded in 2001 in India, with its center in Mumbai. Its main aim is to provide free standard healthcare and cancer treatment. To this day, CARF has contributed to giving optimum cancer treatment for less privileged Indians. Additionally, it also provides medical and financial support to cancer patients. CARF also supports free accommodation for patients belonging to other states and their families during cancer treatment. This includes providing a return railway fare to their respective hometown after the completion of the treatment. Moreover, CARF provides free ambulance service to Mumbai cancer patients and free counselling and medical advice to all patients. In the last twenty years, CARF has worked to supply free cancer treatment in India to over 13,000 poor and deprived patients across 1782 hospitals. 

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Address: Unit No. 103, Shivkripa Industrial Estate, Vikhroli West, Mumbai-400083

Website: https://www.cancerarfoundation.org/

Phone: +91-22-2300 7000, +91-22-2300 5000

Email: carf@cancerarfoundation.org

Your well-being is one of your greatest blessings. Today, more than ever, with the rise in risk factors, and diseases, it is crucial to prepare to face future health bumps. In addition, even the cost associated with medical treatment has escalated the need for reliable financial assets like a health insurance policy. A comprehensive health insurance plan could cover the cost of cancer treatment. Your life is precious, and you deserve the best possible care available.

Written by: Edlyn Cardoza

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