Radiation therapy in Kenya

Radiation therapy is given to cancer patients at some point during their illness in roughly half of all instances, accounting for 40% of all curative cancer therapies in Kenya. Because of technology improvements and findings from cancer research, it is now clear that radiation therapy can be used to treat cancer patients. If you’re looking for radiation therapy in Kenya, we’ve got you covered. You can learn more about what it is, how much it costs, as well as the best hospitals and specialists to receive cancer treatment in Kenya. So keep reading till the end.

What is Radiation Therapy?

One of the most important cancer therapies is radiation therapy. High-energy radio waves, like gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, are used in this therapy to kill malignant cells and stop them from proliferating.

Normal cells typically divide to create new cells, however malignant cells expand and divide more quickly to produce solid tumors.

Radiation is used in this context. The purpose of radiation therapy is to shrink and damage the cancer cells’ DNA. As a result, the malignant cells cease reproducing and developing, which ultimately causes them to die.

Radiation therapy has been proven helpful in treating a variety of malignant illnesses, including those affecting the liver, bone, breast, brain, stomach, and skin, to name a few. Additionally, it is possible to treat benign disorders where tumor growth is not cancerous, including goiter, spurs, several excruciating and inflammatory diseases of the joints including bursitis and tendonitis, blood diseases, skin diseases, and benign brain tumors.

Although it is occasionally the only therapy offered, radiation therapy is frequently combined with other cancer therapies including chemotherapy and surgery.

Types of Radiation therapy in Kenya

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) in Kenya: The most popular form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation therapy. It emits radiation from a device known as a linear accelerator that produces high-energy electrons or X-rays. These beams are precisely formed and pointed to the tumor while limiting exposure to the nearby healthy tissues. EBRT is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t need any type of anesthetic. Usually, the operation is carried out in a few short sessions each day over the course of many weeks. The external beam radiation therapy cost in Kenya can range from $680 to $1360 for a full treatment.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) in Kenya: IMRT is a more sophisticated variation of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) that enables precision radiation dosage delivery to the tumor while sparing neighboring healthy tissues. To regulate and shape the radiation beams in accordance with the location, size, and shape of the tumor, computer-controlled linear accelerators are used. With the help of IMRT, the tumor can be more precisely targeted and the risk of adverse effects is decreased by delivering radiation of varied intensities to various tumor sites. The cost of IMRT in Kenya is $6,000.

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) in Kenya: To increase treatment precision, IGRT combines radiation therapy with imaging equipment such as CT scans or X-rays. It allows the radiation oncologist to see the tumor just before or during the treatment and alter the position of the patient or radiation field as needed. The cost of IGRT in Kenya is $5,000.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy & Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Kenya: SRS and SBRT are specialist methods used to administer extremely precise and powerful doses of radiation to small cancers or lesions, frequently in the brain or spine. Brain cancers are frequently treated with SRS, but tumors in other regions of the body are commonly treated with SBRT. These procedures use many radiation beams pointed at the tumor from various angles, producing a highly concentrated dosage. The great accuracy of SRS and SBRT enables optimal tumor control while reducing radiation exposure to healthy tissues. The cost of Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Kenya is $6,000.

Brachytherapy in Kenya: Internal radiation therapy is also referred to as brachytherapy, which includes inserting a radiation source into or close to the tumor. While providing high doses of radiation to a particular region, this technique reduces radiation exposure to neighboring healthy tissues. Brachytherapy can be carried out in various ways, including by temporarily or permanently burying radioactive seeds or wires. The tumor’s type and location will determine the technique to use. Brachytherapy is frequently used to treat breast, cervical, and prostate malignancies. The cost of Brachytherapy in Kenya is $3,300.

Proton Therapy in Kenya: Proton therapy is a specific type of radiation treatment that targets cancers with protons rather than X-rays. Because of their special physical characteristics, protons can be used to precisely target malignancies while exposing healthy cells to the least amount of radiation possible. When a tumor is close to vital structures or in children, where limiting radiation to healthy tissues is essential, proton treatment is very advantageous. The cost of Proton therapy in Kenya is $50,000 to to $60,000.

Cost of Radiation therapy in Kenya

Radiation Therapy Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Rapid Arc with IGRT $5,250 Ksh 628,700
Rapid Arc with IGRT for prostate cancer $5,400 Ksh 638,220
Rapid Arc with IMRT $6,001 Ksh 600,119
Rapid Arc with IMRT for prostate cancer $5,410 Ksh 647,749
Radiation Oncology $5,000 Ksh 590,587
Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRS) Novalis Tx with Frame $6,000 Ksh 695,469
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) Novalis Tx Frameless $5,900 Ksh 704,900

Cost of Radiation Therapy in Different Cities of Kenya

City Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Eldoret $6,300 Ksh 754,245
Kisumu $7,050 Ksh 844,750
Mombasa $5,248 Ksh 629,170
Nairobi $5,000 Ksh 589,000
Nakuru $5,669 Ksh 689,499

Advances in Radiation therapy Technology in Kenya

Linear Accelerators (LINACs): Kenya has seen a significant improvement in the quantity and caliber of linear accelerators, which are the main devices used to administer radiation therapy. In order to properly pinpoint tumors and bend the radiation beam in accordance, these LINACs use modern imaging techniques including cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).

Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT): VMAT, an enhanced kind of IMRT, uses a revolving gantry to administer radiation in continuous arcs. Compared to conventional approaches, it enables quicker therapy delivery and higher dose conformity. Due of its effectiveness and capacity to modify to complex tumor shapes, VMAT technology is becoming more popular in Kenya.

Why think about radiation therapy in Kenya?

Affordable care in Kenya: The overall cost of the surgery will normally be lower if the patient travels to Kenya from another nation. This is due to the fact that healthcare in Kenya is far less expensive than in many other nations.

Access to state-of-the-art facilities: The hospitals are accredited and certified, have first-rate infrastructure, and utilize advanced radiation therapy equipment. Patients can easily utilize these amenities, which are frequently updated with more modern versions.

Highly qualified medical staff: Kenyan hospitals have highly skilled, qualified, and experienced medical and non-medical staff who provide patients with the best possible cancer care.

Cancers that can be treated in Kenya with Radiation therapy

Breast cancer: Radiation therapy is frequently performed after surgery (mastectomy or lumpectomy) to eradicate any cancer cells that may still be present and lower the chance of recurrence.

Prostate cancer: Radiation therapy is sometimes used in conjunction with surgery or as the primary treatment for early-stage prostate cancer. It helps in the removal of cancer cells unique to the prostate.

Lung Cancer: When surgery is not an option, radiation therapy can be utilized as the primary therapy for early-stage lung cancer. For more severe situations, it may also be used with chemotherapy.

Head and Neck malignancies: Radiation therapy is frequently used to treat head and neck malignancies, particularly cancers of the oral cavity, throat, larynx, & nasal passages. In certain regions, tumors are reduced in size and cancer cells are killed.

Cervical Cancer: Radiation therapy is an important treatment option for cervical cancer. When treating more advanced stages, it can be combined with chemotherapy or used alone in early-stage instances.

Rectal cancer: Radiation therapy is occasionally used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy. Before surgery, reducing tumor size is beneficial, as is post-operative cancer cell elimination.

Lymphoma: When a lymphoma is confined to a certain area, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, radiation therapy can be utilized as a localized treatment.

Bone Cancer: Radiation therapy can be used to treat individuals with bone metastases from different cancers, such as breast, lung, or prostate cancer, to reduce discomfort and manage symptoms.

Overview of the Radiation Therapy Process in Kenya

1. Referral and consultation: An oncologist or other medical specialist typically refers a patient as the first step in the procedure. A follow-up appointment with a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specializes in radiation therapy, is then organized for the patient.

2. Treatment Planning: The radiation oncologist assesses the patient’s medical history, goes over diagnostic tests including imaging scans, and goes over the potential advantages and disadvantages of radiation therapy during the consultation. The process of treatment planning begins if radiation therapy is determined to be appropriate.

  • Simulation: A simulation approach is used to map out the treatment area before the patient passes through it. To properly define the treatment area and establish the ideal radiation dose, this may entail performing CT scans, X-rays, or using other imaging techniques.
  • Treatment Strategy: A treatment strategy is developed in light of the simulation and imaging findings. The particular radiation dose, the number of treatment sessions (fractions), and the radiation delivery angles are all specified in this plan.

3. Treatment Sessions: After the completion of the treatment plan, the patient starts the process of radiation therapy sessions. Depending on the recommended treatment plan, these sessions are often spread out over a few weeks with daily or weekly treatments.

  • Radiation delivery: Radiation is administered to the target area using specialized radiation equipment, like linear accelerators, while the patient is lying on a treatment table. To ensure precision and safety, the radiation oncology staff closely supervises the therapeutic procedure.
  • Side Effects Management: Radiation therapy may result in side effects, which differ based on the treated area and the patient’s response. Fatigue, skin changes, hair loss, & localized discomfort are common side effects. The radiation oncology team looks after the patient’s well-being and provides supportive care.

4. Follow-up Care: After finishing the recommended course of radiation therapy, the patient continues to get follow-up care provided by their oncologist and radiation oncologist. For the purpose of evaluating treatment results and keeping an eye out for any potential recurrence or long-lasting adverse effects, routine checkups and imaging tests may be carried out.

Advanced Medical Technology in Kenya for Radiation Therapy

TrueBeam STx

Modern radiation treatments use the TrueBeam STx system, which is a revolutionary device. While reducing the exposure to nearby healthy tissue, this device delivers high doses of radiation with higher accuracy and precision. The TrueBeam STx system has been shown to be successful in treating a variety of cancers, including lung, breast, and prostate cancer.

CyberKnife

This method uses a robotic arm to deliver radiation to the tumor while compensating for patient movement. For the treatment of prostate, lung, and brain cancer, this technology is especially effective.

64 Slice PET CT

The 64 Slice PET CT is a diagnostic instrument that produces precise images of the internal organs using a mix of PET and CT (positron emission tomography) scans. It makes it simpler to administer radiation to the damaged area because it helps the doctors pinpoint the exact location & size of the tumor.

RapidArc

RapidArc is a form of IMRT that utilizes advanced equipment and software to rapidly deliver high radiation doses to the tumor. The method uses a single spin of the radiation generator to provide radiation to the tumor at several angles, shortening the course of treatment.

Best Radiation therapy Hospitals in Kenya

Nairobi Hospital Cancer Center: The Nairobi Hospital Cancer Center is a prominent medical center in Kenya that provides complete cancer care services, including radiation therapy. The facility offers a range of radiation treatment options, including brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and external beam radiation therapy, and is furnished with contemporary radiation therapy equipment including linear accelerators. Experienced doctors and radiation therapists collaborate at the facility to deliver top-notch cancer care.

Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi: Another top hospital in Kenya that provides radiation therapy services is the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi. They have a state-of-the-art cancer center there with innovative radiation therapy technology and highly qualified medical staff. The facility offers a variety of radiation therapy alternatives, such as brachytherapy, image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and external beam radiation therapy. For kids with cancer, they also provide specific services.

Kenyatta National Hospital – Nairobi: Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) is Kenya’s largest public referral hospital and home to a radiation therapy department. To provide complete cancer care, the radiation therapy department at KNH works in conjunction with other departments, including medical oncology and surgical oncology.

Texas Cancer Center in Nairobi, Kenya: The Texas Cancer Center is a privately owned facility offering cancer care in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility has up-to-date radiation therapy machinery, enabling them to provide services including brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy.

Mombasa Hospital: Mombasa Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, is a private healthcare facility that provides radiation therapy services. The hospital features a dedicated oncology section that uses modern technology to administer radiation therapy. They have qualified radiation therapists and oncologists who collaborate closely with other professionals to provide complete cancer care.

HCG CCK Cancer Centre: The first privately run comprehensive cancer center in East Africa is the HCG CCK Cancer Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Radiation therapy, surgical oncology, medical oncology, psycho-oncology, palliative care, and patient support services are all available at this comprehensive cancer center under one roof.

Radiation Therapy Success Rate in Kenya

Depending on the individual cancer kind, the success rates for radiation therapy can vary greatly. In Kenya, radiation therapy has a 70% to 90% success rate on average. This indicates that, generally, tumor shrinking, control of cancer growth, or complete remission occur in roughly half to two thirds of patients who receive radiation therapy. These numbers are based on compiled data and might not accurately represent the success rates for various cancer types.

Top Radiation therapists in Kenya

  1. Dr. Adarsh Chandramouleswar
  2. Dr. Ahmed Komen
  3. Dr. Elizabeth Siwillis
  4. Dr. Vijay Narayanan
  5. Dr. Nafula W. Esther

Reviews of Radiation therapy in Kenya

Review 1:

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

“I recently received radiation treatment in Kenya, and I must say that it was a truly remarkable experience. The medical centers were first-rate, furnished with modern technology, and manned by highly qualified experts. I had the greatest care imaginable thanks to the radiation oncologists and radiographers’ team, who demonstrated profound knowledge and experience.

The staff was also extremely compassionate and caring throughout my entire treatment process. They carefully explained the procedure and addressed any worries or concerns I may have had. The treatment rooms were cozy and well-kept, which made for a relaxing environment throughout each session.

Additionally, there were seldom any wait times and the scheduling procedure was effective. The entire treatment plan’s organization and punctuality pleasantly impressed me.”

Review 2:

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

“I am immensely happy that radiation therapy services are easily accessible in Kenya as a resident of this nation. I received excellent radiation therapy, which is a clear indication of how far the medical system has advanced. I was given thorough information about my treatment plan and involved in every choice along the way by the medical team, which included oncologists and radiographers.

The radiation therapy technique was on par with what I’ve seen in more advanced nations. Furthermore, it was a welcome surprise how affordable radiation therapy was in Kenya. The treatment was affordable for a wider range of the population due to the inexpensive cost.”

FAQs

1. Does radiation therapy have any side effects?

Yes, adverse effects from radiation therapy are possible. Depending on the area being treated and the specific patient, side effects can vary in nature and degree. Fatigue, changes in skin, hair loss in the treated area, nausea, and modifications in bowel or urine function are examples of common adverse effects.

2. Is radiation therapy painful?

Radiation therapy itself causes no pain. The treatment, however, may cause some patients to feel slightly uncomfortable or heated.

3. What is the duration of a radiation therapy session?

The duration of a radiation therapy session varies according on the treatment plan and type of radiation used. A typical session may last a few minutes, but the entire therapy course may last several weeks or months, with daily or weekly sessions.

4. Is radiation therapy covered by health insurance in Kenya?

Your health insurance policy may or may not cover radiation therapy. It is advised to speak with your insurance company to find out how much of radiation therapy and related expenses are covered.

5. How should I get ready for radiation therapy in Kenya?

Your healthcare team will provide guidance on the precise preparation for radiation therapy. Typically, it involves getting imaging tests, including CT scans, to help in treatment planning.

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