Dana’s doctor told her the news. She had breast cancer. It didn’t really matter to her what type it was; she heard the “c” word and felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. Her doctor gave her advice about traditional cancer therapy that included chemo and radiation therapy, and then surprised her by suggesting she combine those therapies with biological hormone therapy. She went home and did her research.
The most commonly used biological hormone therapy treatments included:
- Aromatase inhibitors, to help stifle conversion of substances into estrogen. This helps to slow production of such cells in the body.
- SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators), which block estrogens from attaching to receptors on cancer cells.
- ERDs (Estrogen-Receptor Down regulators) that block and break down estrogen receptors, reducing the number of cancer cells that receive messages to grow.
Drugs in those treatments included Herceptin, Avastin and Tykerb. She looked up those drugs, shocked. Costs for biological hormone therapy were way beyond her means, even with medical insurance. In the U.S., Avastin could cost as much as $4,400 a month. Herceptin was not much better, costing an average of $3,000 a month. Newer drugs may cost patients more than $10,000 a month.
She kept researching and found that in India, a year’s supply of Herceptin averages out to about $2,000 a month instead of the $3,000. In Thailand and Singapore, cancer medical travelers were also able to enjoy substantial savings.
Dana wanted every chance at life she could get. If she had to travel abroad to beat her cancer diagnosis, she was going to do it. For more information about cancer treatment abroad, visit PlacidWay, an international medical resource and provider that believes in affordable and accessible medical care.