Being a Cancer Patient in France

The French way of cancer treatment
The French way of cancer treatment

Cancer does not choose you by religion or nationality, or by birthright, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t choose you by anything, in particular, those of you unfortunate know this very well. True, some places on this planet will lower your chances of getting cancer, but still they won’t make you immune. Also some religions due to their diet most probably are less prone to this disease, but still not immune. So you cannot avoid this terrible disease with your place of stay, but one thing you can do is choose where to treat it, where to seek help, where to find the best specialist, that you can and should do as soon as possible.

Being a cancer patient in France is no different than being a cancer patient anywhere on the world, the chemo sickness is just the same as on the other side of the world, your hair won’t stay at its place, you won’t get instantly healed… But some things do make a huge difference, and this difference should not be ignored because it can be life-changing and lifesaving.

That difference is in the approach of treating cancer, in the availability and the pricing of such treatment, and most importantly in the research centers which are quite few now in France, and are being made up of teams of specialist working every day in finding a better cancer treatment, understanding cancer, and ultimately finding a possible cure.

Amongst many cancer hospitals in France, Institut Curie is one of the most famous in the world, mostly because of the dedication of the whole team, and the approach that science works for the people to help fight diseases, cancer in particular. Made up of 1100 researchers in 86 teams cancer research France on three locations in France promises a lot, and the increasing number of surviving cancer patients is a prove. This institute is non-profit foundation researching on biophysics, cell biology and oncology and it is specialized in cancer treatment, and it raises its funds mostly through donations. This institute also operates the photon therapy center at Orsay, and this center is one of the few in the world.

And this is not the only center in France, far from it, there is UNICANCER group, bringing together 20 French Cancer Centers offering a certain access to the newest technologies and methods in cancer treatment. Then there is The Centre René Gauducheau, giving one of the best treatments in Europe, backed up by confessions of many cancer survivors. And there are many other centers in France and they are all doing an excellent job, but there are also center in UK, Spain, Slovenia, Russia, and still the treatment in France is one of the best and innovation leading in the world, and there has to be a reason for it. And there is!

France has one of the best health systems in Europe and accepts medical tourists in private hospitals as fee-paying patients, providing immediate access to treatment at various specialists centers at not expensive fees, or at least much more affordable in comparison to neighboring countries. Also, France has a much larger number of radiotherapy machines like 336 linear accelerators, and many more doctors per patient giving a far more prompt therapy, more precisely 3.4 doctors for every 1,000 people. Plus the French government gave access to new drugs, and the treatment with these drugs out of a central budget, with an excess of 1,1 Billion Euros. The French government voted a few years ago that the raft of expensive new treatments should be ring-fenced so that hospitals did not have to choose between a cancer drug which extends life by a few months, and drugs for diabetes or heart disease.

And the numbers are supporting the claim that France has one of the best cancer treatments in Europe. Two out of three cancer patients are cancer survivors, and the truth is in 45 years the likelihood of surviving this disease has doubled. The worrisome factor is the reason why so many French people do get cancer in the first place, and that is tobacco and alcohol consumption, which is far greater than other European countries, and these two are the main cancer risk factors. The French government in its lack of preventing cancer methods turned to cancer treatment, and no surprise, it worked. By opening and cofounding many cancer treatment centers, France has become one of the leading cancer treatment countries in Europe, and possibly in the world, with an advanced health system providing a longer survival rate than elsewhere after giving a diagnose.

“While we are bad at prevention, we are good at treating cancer. The study shows that it’s better to live in Britain if you don’t want to develop lung cancer. But if a British citizen develops this illness, they would be well advised to go to France for treatment.”, Thierry Philip, president of the national cancer committee.


I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.