Metastatic cancer presents both patients and medical professionals with immense challenges. In the search for effective treatments, the global landscape of cancer care offers many options. Among these, Germany stands out as it is renowned for its advanced medical facilities, cutting-edge research, and holistic approach to metastatic cancer treatment.
The cost of metastatic cancer treatment in Germany may range from 2500 EUR to 410,000 EUR.
What is Metastatic Cancer?
Metastasis means cancer has spread to a different part of the body than where it started. When this happens, the cancer is termed as “metastasized.” It is also known as stage IV (4) cancer for many types of cancer.
What are the Symptoms of Metastatic Cancer?
Although metastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms occur, the size and location of the same will decide the same.
Some common symptoms of metastatic cancer include the following:
- Pain and fractures when cancer spreads to the bone
- Shortness of breath when cancer spreads to the lung
- Headache, seizures, or dizziness when cancer spreads to the brain
- Swelling in the belly or jaundice when cancer spreads to the liver
How Does Metastatic Cancer Spread?
When cancer cells metastasize, it usually involves the following steps:
- In local invasion, the cancer invades the normal tissue.
- In intravasation, the cancer moves through the walls of nearby lymph nodes.
- In circulation, the cancer cells move through the lymphatic system and the bloodstream to other body areas.
- In arrest and extravasation, the cancer cells stop moving, invade the walls of the capillaries, and migrate into the surrounding tissue.
- In proliferation, the cells multiply in another body area and form small tumors.
- In angiogenesis, the small tumors form to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. This occurs to obtain a blood supply necessary for tumor growth.
Only some of the above steps will be required for metastasis to occur.
How is Metastatic Cancer Treated in German Hospitals?
Treatment methods for metastatic cancer include the following:
- Local chemotherapy (TACE, TACP): A particular drug injected into an artery feeds malignant neoplasms. This results in the following double effect:
- Cutting the supply of oxygen to the tumor.
- Accelerating the death of cancer cells with the help of the chemotherapeutic drug
- Ablation therapy: A specialized probe is inserted into the tumor. It is controlled by computed tomography to deliver chemotherapeutic agents, radio waves, microwaves, or freezing, destroying cancerous cells during the procedure.
- Radioembolization: Yttrium Y-90-filled particles are delivered directly to tumor blood vessels, blocking blood flow to cancer cells and providing a high radiation dose to the tumor while sparing normal tissue.
- Immunotherapy: Also known as immuno-oncology, it destroys malignant neoplasms with the help of the immune system of the patient.
- Dendritic cell cancer vaccine: Dendritic cells activate the immune system and present cancer cells. The vaccine is safe and well-tolerated, even for treating patients suffering from fourth-stage cancer.
- Electrochemotherapy: Electric current is used to create pores in the membrane of cancer cells, which significantly enhances the effect of chemotherapeutic agents and allows for significant results at low doses.
- Hyperthermia (Thermal therapy): Under general anesthesia, the patient is heated to 42.5 to 43 degrees in an electromagnetic field. This increases the effect of drugs by 3 to 5 times and suppresses the activity of tumors and cancer metastases. Hyperthermia, if coupled with chemotherapy, prevents metastases in 45-48% of cases.
What is the Cost of Metastatic Cancer Treatment in Germany?
The cost of metastatic cancer treatment in Germany is mentioned below:
- Metastatic prostate cancer – 10,134 EUR
- Brain tumor (glioblastoma) – 29,221 EUR
- Lung cancer – 7,000 EUR
- Breast cancer – 6,493 EUR
- Stomach cancer- 7,220 EUR
- Ovarian cancer – 10,744 EUR
- Pancreatic cancer – 7,209 EUR
Which Hospitals in Germany Provide Treatment for Metastatic Cancers?
The leading hospitals in Germany providing treatment for metastatic cancer are listed below:
University Hospital Heidelberg
- This is one of the biggest medical centers in Germany.
- University Hospital Heidelberg operates nearly 1 million outpatients and 65,000 inpatients annually and is well-renowned for cancer treatment.
- The hospital partners with various research institutes, including the German Cancer Research Center at the National Center for Tumor Diseases.
- The hospital specializes in diagnosing and treating complex medical conditions and diseases using innovative technology and interdisciplinary cooperation.
Charite University Hospital
- In addition to its role in research and teaching, Charite University Hospital’s fundamental mission includes the care and treatment of patients.
- The hospital treats more patients than any other university hospital in Germany, with 736.786 outpatient cases and 126.430 inpatient cases a year.
- The hospital is one of Europe’s most reputed and largest universities affiliated with Humboldt University and Free University Berlin.
- Focus ranked the hospital as the best of over 1,000 hospitals in Germany.
University Hospital Duesseldorf
- Established in 1907, the hospital comprises 34 clinics and more than 30 medical institutes and employs over 5,500 individuals.
- The hospital has an exclusive spectrum of modern diagnostics and high-tech equipment.
- The hospital has a brilliant academic, providing high-quality education to all medical aspirants.
- The hospital is multidisciplinary and covers the whole spectrum of medical services, including oncology, transplantation hematology, neurosurgery & neurology, urology, gynecology & obstetrics, hepatology, organ transplantation, vascular surgery & cardio surgery.
University Hospital Frankfurt am Main
- Established in 1914, the hospital provides the best medical services.
- It has 32 departments, clinical institutes, and more than 20 research institutes.
- The hospital follows modern standards in medical treatment to ensure the highest quality and safety.
- The medical facility receives more than 51,000 inpatients and 45,000 outpatients annually.
Germany’s commitment to patient care, coupled with the pursuit of cutting-edge therapies and research, makes it a prime destination for those facing the challenge of metastatic cancer. From personalized treatment plans to a supportive healthcare ecosystem, Germany offers a comprehensive approach beyond traditional medical practices. The cost of metastatic cancer treatment in Germany also serves as one of the factors improving patient lives affected by this devastating disease.