The Cost of Cancer Treatment in Mexico
Susan Clark, a 58-year-old former nurse who lives in Yucatan, Mexico, discovered a lump in her breast early in 2012. She began a series of tests in nearby Merida, a city of more than 1 million residents, which revealed the cancer was present. As a nurse, Clark was faced with the decision of remaining in Mexico for treatment or returning to the U.S. She chose to seek care in Merida and has not regretted the decision.
One of the first procedures performed was a guided-needle biopsy to determine if the breast lump was malignant. Clark paid about $478 for the test at 2012 currency exchange rates. A computerized tomography (CT) body scan was immediately ordered to evaluate whether cancer cells had spread to other areas of the body, at a total cost of $655.
The former nurse opted to undergo surgery in a Merida hospital to remove diseased breast tissue and a few lymph nodes for testing, followed by radiation treatment after tests showed her cancer had not migrated beyond the breast. An oncology surgeon performed the operation and oversaw Clark’s recovery during her three days in a local hospital. His entire fee came to $1,400. The surgeon’s assistant charged $311, while the anesthesiologist received $389 for his services.
Her total hospital bill came to $1,388. A month after leaving the hospital, radiation treatments began. She drove to the clinic every weekday for five weeks to ensure any remaining cancer cells were irradiated. The entire series of treatments cost Clark $2,673.
Alternative Cancer Treatment Centers in Mexico
Having to seek out cancer treatment is never easy. Knowing that you or a loved one has been diagnosed can feel overwhelming, and between having to deal with the reality of a diagnosis and the suffering that comes along with the disease, researching cancer treatment options can feel like an impossible task.
We understand this reality, which is why we’ve compiled a list of some of Mexico’s top cancer treatment centers. Not all treatment options are available in the United States due to FDA restrictions, which is why Mexico’s cancer treatment facilities are being increasingly sought-out around the world. If you live in Mexico or are looking to visit the country and need to seek out a site for your treatment needs, then this article should help you in the right direction.
CHIPSA is a facility attempting to utilize immunology to treat cancer, drawing inspiration from modern techniques used to treat HIV/AIDS that make use of dendritic cells to fight against diseases that effectively cancel out the body’s ability to fight back.
Immunonutrition is a key part of their treatment routine, which emphasizes a healthy diet and the imbibing of foods theorized to help fight against cancers by naturally boosting the immune system.
Other treatments used by the facility include intravenous injections of megadoses of Vitamin C and Apatone, stem cell therapy, and insulin potentiation therapy. It’s important to mention that almost none of these treatment methods are approved in the United States (and most of the world), with many of them actually being considered malpractice.
2) Hope 4 Cancer
With multiple facilities, Hope 4 Cancer takes a holistic approach to treating cancer, utilizing a number of alternative approaches to aid the body in fighting back against cancer’s toxic effects.
Various treatments utilized by the organization include auto-immune therapy, emotional and mental healing techniques, and detoxification programs designed to rid the body of toxins that can contribute to cancer’s lethality.
Founded in 2000, Hope 4 Cancer has grown into a world leader when it comes to holistic, natural cancer treatments which aren’t used anywhere else in the world (possibly for good reason).
3) Oasis of Hope
While independent organizations like Quackwatch have reported the approaches of this organization’s cancer treatment methods as “dubious,” Oasis of Hope still attracts many cancer patients to its facilities with its alternative treatments.
Some of those treatments involve a restrictive diet limited to “non-toxic” ingredients, mental healing techniques, and the removal of metal fillings from a patient’s mouth. Another technique commonly used is to induce a high fever in a patient, with the theory being that since fevers are the body’s natural response to viruses and diseases, they can effectively “burn out” cancer cells.
We wouldn’t recommend this organization, and actively encourage our readers to be highly dubious of any cancer treatment centers that use techniques like the ones mentioned here.
4) Angeles Treatment Center
Located in Tijuana, Angeles Treatment Center also utilizes holistic healing techniques to treat cancer. With a 6-step cancer treatment program, their methods range from the alternative to the controversial. With virtually no traditional treatment methods utilized, their 6-step cancer treatment program has very little science behind it. The six steps are as follows:
1. Using diagnostic screening techniques and laboratory exams, health workers here will determine your cancer type and recommend treatment options to help repair any damages.
2. A detox program to remove “toxins” which may be contributing to a cancer’s growth. Seem vague to you? Their website doesn’t include any more information unless you request it specifically, which requires submission of a form with your contact information.
3. We’re not going to list the rest of the steps as these treatment methods have no scientific backing.
5) Mexican Cancer Clinics
With a name so generic, you might expect traditional cancer treatment methods like chemotherapy or radiation, but you’d be wrong. Mexican Cancer Clinics takes a holistic approach to their treatment methodology.
Treatment methods include a strict dietary regimen that eliminates processed foods and refined sugar, which is a scientifically-proven way to reduce your risk of getting cancer – but it won’t help if you already have it.
Therapy sessions designed to elevate mood and promote physical health are also utilized by this organization – which again, won’t actually assist patients with cancer, as therapy alone can do little against metastatic growths that are spreading throughout a patient’s body and shutting down their organ functionality.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and you’re scared of the idea of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, we understand. Western medicine can seem cold and clinical to someone that’s never spent much time in hospitals or around medical professionals. However, while science can seem cold and uninviting, there’s a reason for this – it’s cut and dry and based in fact.
Real medical professionals have sworn a Hippocratic oath to always do what’s in the best interest of their patients, no matter what. The thing that many “alternative” cancer treatment centers have in common is that they aren’t run by medical professionals. They are run by people looking for a profit.
Cancer Treatment in Mexico: Rating
The health care system in or near major cities in Mexico is second to none. Many of the physicians attended university courses or internships in the United States, and speak at least passable English. Modern hospitals employ all the latest equipment for complex medical testing and procedures. In many cases, no appointment is needed to see a doctor. A patient simply walks into a hospital or medical clinic and sees a specialist a short time later. Depending on the specialty, a visit typically costs between $25 and $65. The high end of the range is generally reserved for cancer specialists and other complex areas of medicine.
Quality of Medical Care in Mexico
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of medical care in Mexico centers on the compassion and genuine concern shown by doctors, laboratory personnel, and hospital staff. Clark was stunned to see her surgeon show up at every radiology treatment to check on her progress. When she questioned the practice, the doctor simply replied by saying Clark is his patient and he feels obligated to support her through the entire treatment process.
Compassion is also illustrated by the comfortable chaises in each hospital room where family members can comfortably rest as they remain near loved ones. Instead of limiting visiting hours, family members are encouraged to spend time with patients while they recover in the hospital. Clark’s surgeon visited her hospital room four times daily to check her incision and talk to her about any discomfort.
South of the border, a doctor, radiologist, or laboratory technician who is proficient in English commonly serves as the liaison between a patient and all other medical professionals. This person explains all laboratory results, schedules upcoming appointments, and is typically available by telephone day or night if questions arise. These services are also usually performed without additional fee to ensure the patient completely understands the diagnosis, treatment options, and scheduling.
Mexican Health Insurance or No?
Health insurance represents another concern for those hoping to retire in Mexico. Insurance is available at a fraction of the cost when compared to U.S. prices, with reasonable deductibles and co-pay amounts. For example, a 64-year-old woman with no pre-existing medical conditions can purchase an annual international health insurance policy for about $1,800 a year. This type of policy typically carries a $500 deductible per incident and 20 percent co-pay. There is no lifetime cap on coverage. Many Mexican health insurers require this type of policy to be purchased by age 60, but it cannot be canceled as a person ages. Rates typically increase 10-15 percent annually. Policies exist for older people, but they tend to cost more and may carry some restrictions.
Some retirees in Mexico prefer to set aside money each month for future health care needs instead of purchasing health insurance. With the lower cost of medical care in Mexico, they realize a medical savings account can cover expenses as they arise. With first-class medical facilities, equipment, and competent physicians, retirees living south of the border enjoy access to health care at a fraction of the cost in other regions.