What is Biopsy?
The biopsy is a process to detect cancer in a patient’s body.
In this process, a small piece of tissue or cells is taken out from the body so that it can be tested in diagnostic laboratories.
It is done to diagnose cancer or determine the best treatment option for a specific cancer stage.
Other diagnostic tests such as MRI, X-ray, PET, or CT scan are also used to diagnose cancer.
They can provide an image of cancer, but such diagnostic tests alone cannot tell the difference between a mass of cancerous cells of normal cells.
In such cases, a biopsy is required for precise diagnosis and examination.
This article mainly focuses on the cost of biopsy in India; continue reading to know more about biopsy costs.
Types of Biopsies
Many types of biopsies depend upon the type and location of cancer in the patient’s body.
The biopsy test cost in India varies according to the type of biopsy required.
Some standard biopsies are given below:
- Needle Biopsy:
Most biopsies are needle biopsies; as the name suggests, they use a needle to collect samples.
The needle biopsy is often combined with an imaging procedure to collect cells from a region where it cannot be felt through the skin.
- Skin Biopsy:
A skin biopsy collects cells from the skin surface. It is used to detect skin conditions such as melanoma or skin cancers.
- Bone marrow Biopsy:
Bone marrow biopsy involves the collection of samples of bone marrow from large body bones.
It is used to detect conditions which are both cancerous and non-cancerous.
Usually, bone marrow biopsy diagnoses blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia or myeloma.
It can also diagnose if cancer started somewhere else and then travelled to blood volume.
- CT Guided Biopsy:
It is a combined biopsy that uses a CT scan to detect the position of the tumor, and then a sample can be taken through a needle.
- Endoscopic Biopsy:
During an endoscopic biopsy, a tube is inserted into the body via the mouth, and from the tube, a tool is passed to collect the sample.
- Surgical Biopsy:
This biopsy is one of the most complex and expensive diagnostic tests to detect cancer.
A surgeon will make an incision to collect the tissue sample in a surgical biopsy.
What is the price of a biopsy around the globe?
The cost of biopsy comes in different ranges.
It depends on many factors, and it usually varies according to the hospital’s location.
Different countries have different rates for various types of biopsies.
Here is the list of some countries for cost of the procedure:
The cost given in the table is an approximated value. The cost of a biopsy may exceed the cost mentioned above, depending on the type of cancer.
What is the price of a biopsy in different states of India?
As compared to different nations in the world, India is the cheapest to get a biopsy.
Many foreigners visit India for their cancer treatment and get their biopsy done at the lowest price.
The list given below consist of price of biopsy in different states of India:
*Note – The cost of biopsy depends on the organ from which the tissue sample is collected.
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Factors affecting the cost of biopsy
The biopsy test cost in India can change due to many factors, some of which are listed below:
- Area of Biopsy:
The area or region of the body where the biopsy is done majorly affects the biopsy test price in India.
Skin biopsies are less expensive than organ biopsies, which may need surgical interventions to take the sample.
- Type of Cancer:
The cost of biopsy also depends on the type of cancer.
The type of cancer which is more superficial requires cheaper biopsy procedures than the deep-rooted type of cancer.
- Stage of Cancer:
The stage of particular cancer affects the biopsy test cost in India.
The aggressive type of cancer at higher stages and is widely spread in the patient’s body may require surgical or bone marrow biopsy.
These biopsies are more costly than simple needle or skin biopsies.
- City of Diagnose:
The cost of biopsy somewhat depends on the city a patient is getting their biopsy done.
As shown in the table above, the biopsy cost varies in different cities in India.
Delhi is the most affordable city to get a biopsy, with excellent facilities in top cancer specialist hospitals.
A patient’s overall health predominantly affects the biopsy process.
You should discuss the medical history or any medicines or supplements you take with your doctor before going under biopsy.
How to prepare for biopsy?
Even though medical professionals will do the test, the patient is required to do some preparation on their behalf.
These prerequisites involve bowel prep, liquid diet or nothing at all. The doctor will instruct you about all these beforehand.
Before the biopsy, discuss your medical history and medications or supplements you are taking with your doctor.
It is advised not to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications before a biopsy, especially a surgical biopsy.
What to expect?
The affected area of the body where the biopsy is done may feel sore and painful for a while, and your doctor may prescribe medicines for it.
After a surgical biopsy, you should rest for a few days and consult a doctor if the symptoms or pain worsen.
Side effects of Biopsy
Any medical procedure which involves making an incision or using tools to break the skin and collect a sample may include minor adverse side effects.
Some of the common side effects of biopsy are:
- Excessive blood loss
- While taking a sample it may be possible that the needle may puncture a nearby organ
- Pain or numbness around the region of the biopsy
These side effects may not occur in every case, and you can consult your doctor if any of the side effects persist.
How to cope with side effects?
Biopsy side effects are not very common, but, in a few cases, some minor adverse effects are seen.
These side effects should not be neglected and should be treated.
If you feel the pain or bleeding persist for a more extended period or if you get an infection, immediately contact your doctor.
The doctor will prescribe pain or anti-infection medication to cope with these adverse effects.
Result and analysis of biopsy
After a biopsy sample is taken, the doctor will send it to the laboratory for further examination.
This process may take some time, usually a few days or weeks.
Once the report arrives, your doctor will analyze the result and let you know.
A positive result means the patient has cancer, and the oncologist will share the follow-up procedure and treatment.
The doctor will tell you about the type and stage of cancer and discuss the best treatment option available for that cancer.
A biopsy can diagnose other diseases, which your doctor will guide you about and the treatment for that condition.
There are times when you may need another biopsy or a different type of biopsy if the doctor is suspicious about your condition and not satisfied with the first biopsy results.
Why is biopsy the best diagnostic test?
Suppose a patient describes their symptoms, commonly associated with cancer, to their doctor.
The doctor may ask the patient to go under biopsy and some imaging tests.
These tests will help the doctor determine if the symptoms are due to cancer or other diseases.
As discussed above, a biopsy is the only way to diagnose most cancers; however, imaging tests like PET scan, CT scan or x-rays may provide an image of the affected area, but to be sure whether the abnormalities are due to cancer or not, a biopsy is a must.
A biopsy helps to determine and distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous cells.
There are several uses of a biopsy.
A biopsy is not always done for a cancer diagnosis or can also be used to diagnose other disorders such as peptic ulcer, hepatitis, kidney disease, endometriosis, or specific infections.