Father of Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor had a cancer diagnosis of Leukemia (a type of blood cancer) made him take a sabbatical stating he is going to the big apple (New York, USA). After learning about his cancer diagnosis, specifically bone marrow news has spread about Rishi Kapoor’s cancer. Luckily after 8 months of treatment, he was able to attain remission, meaning at that stage, Rishi Kapoor was cancer free. Update: unfortunately Rishi Kapoor passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.
What is Leukemia?
Leukemia is a form of cancer of blood or blood cells. There are several types of leukemia, classified by progress and how the cells are affected. To understand how leukemia affects cells, it’s useful to understand how blood cells work. For more information on its symptoms, treatment, diagnosis or prevention please read it at our knowledge hub.
This brings up to really wonder why do people leave India for their cancer treatment? Is it a good decide to leave India? To be clear not everyone can or should go but there are important points to consider if one has the freedom to choose where they can get treated.
Lessons from Rishi Kapoor Cancer (Leukemia) – Should you also go to USA for cancer treatment?
Indeed without a doubt there is a larger variety of treatment options available in the USA than in India, including access to clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies, due to commercial viability, do not introduce certain drugs into all countries. One does have an option to import drugs but that can be a long and tedious process.
USA has one of the best survival rates for cancer patients which probably is the reason why it was chosen for Rishi Kapoor cancer treatment. There are many factors to consider which may or may not be good for the patient in the long run. These include cancer treatment availability, law suits and over treatment.
In the USA misdiagnosis is a common law suit. Doctors are often overly precautious and would perform multiple tests to avoid an incorrect diagnosis. Additionally, in America doctors may more closely follow cancer treatment guidelines.
Doctor patient ratio
In India top doctors see hundreds of patients. In the USA there is a considerably lower ratio.
“Chemotherapy That Costs $70,000 in the U.S. Costs $2,500 in India”. This is contributed for a large number of reasons such as patent laws, marketing costs, license costs etc.
Countries like India, where most patients pay out of pocket, the health governing bodies encourage domestic production of cancer drugs.
No family support
Rishi Kapoor’s wife Neetu Singh talked about how emotionally draining and lonely the year felt. Dealing with cancer is undoubtedly tough. Having family support and even for the nuclear family to have their support goes a long way towards recovery.
What was his treatment and what is the survival rate?
His family not shared many details (to the best of our knowledge). We can assume he followed a guideline based treatment approach. He was diagnosed with Leukemia which is a type of blood cancer. There are two types of Leukemia: acute and chronic. Acute is more deadly than chronic. Without knowing which type, we cannot identify the likely treatment or survival rate. According to the National Cancer Institute at his age of 67 about 23% of patients will die within 5 years of diagnosis.
Update: On April 30, 2020 Rishi Kapoor passed away. We show our support to his family and encourage them to do the same. His family shared this post on social media.
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Disclaimer: Opinions in this post is solely for education purposes. This post has been written from the author’s personal point of view, combined with previously published public statements from Rishi Kapoor or his family, with reference links included wherever applicable. The views and content included here have not been endorsed by Rishi Kapoor or his family.
Published: September 19, 2019. Updated: April 30, 2020.