Cost of Tumor Removal

How much does Tumor Removal Cost? Price Information

Price Range: $$ affordable $$$ moderate $$$$ high-priced

Price Indicator: $$$$

Cost of Tumor Removal: $2,000 – $80,000 or more

Average Cost: $40,000

Fees Include: Biopsy / Sample, Chemotherapy, Radiation.

Cost Variables: The prices vary depending on the size, location and extent of the tumor. Small benign tumors which can be removed without chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be removed from around $2,000. On the other hand, large malignant tumors can cost a lot more, especially where debulking is required along with other treatments.

Health Insurance: Most of the cost should be covered by your insurance plan. Contact your health insurance company to find out more.

Medicare/Medicaid: Medicare provides funding for preventative procedures such as cancer screening. Medicare and Medicaid provide specific cancer coverage in certain circumstances. For example, a woman may be eligible for treatment of breast or cervical cancer under Medicaid if she has been screened through the national early detection program, if she is under the age of 65, uninsured and otherwise not eligible for Medicaid.

Hospital Fee: This will need to be paid and is usually included in the total figure.

Facility Fees: If you attend a private clinic, the surgeon may charge a facility fee for performing the surgery.

Ask your doctor for the total cost, including hospital/facility fees, surgeon’s fees, chemotherapy/radiation and whether any rebates, specials or discounts apply.

Are There Alternatives To Tumor Removal?

Not really. There are however, multiple ways of reducing the size of a tumor. Whichever method is recommended by your oncologist will depend on whether the tumor is malignant or benign. Benign tumors are those which do not spread to other parts of the body. In many cases they are harmless and don’t require removal. Surgery is an option for removing the tumor if it’s causing health problems or is a cosmetic concern. It can also be treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, but surgical removal is usually the most effective approach.

As for malignant tumors, these can progressively spread (metastasize). For this reason, surgical removal may be necessary in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Surgeons can also perform non-curative surgery, biological therapy and debulking the cancer.

What is Debulking Tumor Removal?

In some cases, the tumor may be too large for complete removal. This occurs for example where removing the whole cancer would cause severe damage to another organ. In this instance, surgeons can debulk the tumor by removing as much of the cancerous tissue as is possibly safe. The remaining tumor can be treated with chemo or radiation. Debulking makes the other treatments more effective.

What Are The Risks of Tumor Removal?

The risks and complications associated with tumor removal can occur prior to, during or after the surgery. Before the operation, if the biopsy does not procure an adequate sample, there is a risk of the cancer being misdiagnosed. In some instances, the tumor is not located properly, which means further removal surgery.  Another danger is seeding (spreading cancerous cells during the operation). The removal operation also carries risks which are normally associated with surgical intervention including infection, excessive bleeding and injury to adjacent tissue.

When is tumor removal necessary?

Tumors are removed for either diagnostic or therapeutic reasons. A part of the tumor may be surgically excised to determine the nature and extent of a cancer. Obtaining a sample biopsy is the most accurate method of assessing the type of cancer and how far it’s spread.  Once the sample is analysed, it may be necessary to remove the cancerous malignant tissue from the body to prevent further spread.

What is the success rate of tumor removal?

The rate of success depends on the type, size and location of the cancer, the surgeon’s experience, the purpose of treatment and the patient’s health and age. Removal of benign tumors is successful in most cases without risk of seeding (spread of abnormal cells to other parts of the body) and small risk of reappearance.  As for malignant tumors, a successful result occurs where the whole tumor is removed with a visible border of healthy tissue and where there is no evidence of spread or seeding.  Due to the large amount of variables, it is difficult to provide a figure for the entire range of tumor removal. However, statistics are available for specific types of tumors. For example, the success rate of removing small microadenomas from Cushing’s disease is about 90%.