Cost of Treatment of cancer patients in Nigeria
Treatment of cancer in Nigeria is a big issue. Infact, according to my consultant, one person cannot treat cancer in Nigeria, no matter how rich you are.
The truth is this, most of the drugs are imported on demand. Though these days, they are becoming readily available. But at exorbitant prices.
I shall come back to the drugs, let’s go systematic. Let me tell you the various forms of treatment of cancer, and their costs.
This is money. So it’s subject to radical fluctuations, so what we say here may have some variance with what is obtainable.
Various forms of treatment of cancer
- Palliative management
Chemotherapy and costs in Nigeria
I have wrritten something on it, find it here: How much is cancer chemotherapy in Nigeria – government and private hospitals
How much is cancer Surgery in Nigeria?
There are various forms of cancers. It depends on the part of the body the cancer is.
Without being told, a cancer inside the brain like craniopharyngioma, won’t cost same thing as cancer inside the abdomen like stomach or colorectal cancer.
Surgery of a cancer in the abdomen, in a private hospital in South East Nigeria, like enugu, from my experience, is in the range of 250,000 to 350,000.
In the same South East, thyroid cancer surgery may also be in the range of 300,000 to 450,000.
South west like Lagos, and of course for abdominal surgeries will be within 300,000 to 500,000 NGN.
Thyroid Surgeries can go as high as 600,000.
The reasons is because of how complicated and delicate operating in the neck is. So thyroid cancer surgeries tend to cost higher than abdominal cancers.
Operating in the brain and Spinal cord lesions for Neurosurgical cases are in the range of 1.5 million to 5 million, depending on the surgeon and hospital in question.
Cost of cancer surgeries in Government Hospitals
Most government hospitals are cheap. The only problem is the delay and disappointments that accompany it. The stress too. You might get disappointed several times before your surgery finally holds. However, some government hospitals are upgrading. So if it’s not an emergency and you don’t have the financial capacity for private hospitals, you can still get the quality care from goverment facilities.
Thyroid surgeries in government hospitals are in the range of 100,000 naira to 150,000 naira.
Abdominal cancer surgeries are also in the same range of 100 to 150 thousand naira.
Note: That’s the cost of the surgery. There are other miscellaneous expenses that are not captured in that price quote. Secondly, some government hospitals are far cheaper than others especially in the North, these surgeries will most likely be cheaper.
Cost of Radiotherapy as a treatment of cancer in Nigeria
Radiotherapy is the use of radiations to kill cancer cells.
In government hospitals, a single shot of radiotherapy is less costly than in private hospitals. In general it is cheaper in government teaching hospitals. The exact price difference has not been determined at the point of writing this.
Cost of Palliative Treatment in Nigeria
Palliative care is employed in cancers that are no more amenable to treatment. There’s nothing else to be done to save the patient. So the symptoms are managed. If the patient has pain, the pain is treated. If they have cough, it’s treated, if they have vomiting, it’s treated. But the main disease cannot be treated because it has gone beyond treatment. This is mostly the case of metastatic cancers.
So the cost of palliative treatment depends on the symptom that is being managed. It is treated most times with normal over the counter routine drugs. Hence the cost may not be too heavy as we saw in surgery chemotherapy.
Spiritual life is part of palliative care. So a priest or pastor may be involved as the case maybe. This is mostly charity work and may not be charged.