Top Cancer Hospital in Kerala

Quality medical care was a distant dream for communities across central Kerala, let alone a specialized centre to deal with morbid ailments like cancer. Government hospitals' limited medical oncology treatments were no match for the growing cancer treatment needs. People had to wait for a long duration to receive proper treatment. Such dire conditions prompted the then Metropolitan Mar Kuriakose Kunnasserry, Archeparchy of Kottayam Diocese, to establish a full-fledged cancer hospital in Kerala.

The cancer centre was built within the Caritas Hospital Campus. It initially started functioning as a surgical oncology department in January 2000. Under Metropolitan Mar Kuriakose Kunnasserry, the then Director Rev. Fr. Simon Pazhukayil and Rev. Fr. Jacob Kollaparampil, the cancer centre was redesigned and relaunched as Caritas Cancer Institute on 24th February 2003.

The Caritas Cancer Hospital in Kerala is equipped with 40 beds which include a 20-bedded daycare chemo suite, surgical oncology theatre and ICU. Top-notch medical equipment that characterizes this cancer centre consists of varian unique performance Linear Accelerator and Selectron HDR for Brachytherapy and the soon-to-be-added Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator with image guided radiotheraphy, stereotactic radiosurgery and surface guided radiotherapy facilities

Adding new facilities such as the advanced blood separation and apheresis therapy, bone marrow transplant unit and transplant ICU and the Nuclear Medicine Department with PET-CT scan and radioiodine therapy, among others, have resulted in Caritas Cancer Institute emerging as the one-stop cancer diagnosis and treatment centre in Kerala.

Treatment and Procedures

Caritas Cancer Institute provides comprehensive oncology services, including diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for all types of cancers and supportive care such as patient education and support for people diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. The scope of treatments and procedures can be broadly divided into:

  • Medical Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Pain and Palliative Care
  • Community Oncology

Medical Oncology

It is one of the oldest departments of this cancer hospital in Kerala. The medical oncology department comprises a team of highly specialized doctors, nurses and support staff who provide targeted and evidence-based diagnosis and treatment regimens to treat adult and pediatric malignancies.

Facilities and Services

The facilities and services provided at the medical oncology department include -

  • Day Care Chemotherapy
  • Diagnosis/Screening of Cancer
  • Counselling including emotional support
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

Radiation Oncology

The radiation oncology department is tasked to dispense radiation practices that are strictly compliant with AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) guidelines. The department houses experienced and certified Radiation oncologists, physicists including radiation safety officer, nurses, radiation therapists and nutritionists.

Facilities and Services

Here’s a look at the facilities and services provided at the radiation oncology department:


  • 2D Conventional
  • 3D Conformal
  • Static and Dynamic IMRT
  • RapidArc


  • Interstitial
  • Intracavitary
  • Intraluminal
  • Mould

Concurrent Chemotherapy

Surgical Oncology

This was the first specialized cancer department launched in the Caritas Hospital 22 years ago. The surgical oncology team has successfully conducted over 16,000 minor and major surgeries to date

Facilities and Services

Here’s looking at the facilities and services provided at the surgical oncology department:

  • Dedicated operation theatres
  • Postoperative care ICUs, wards, and rooms
  • Diagnosis and staging workup
  • Surgical management for the following cancer types:
    • Head and neck cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Gastrointestinal cancer
    • Hepatobiliary cancer
    • Genitourinary cancer
    • Gynaecological cancer
    • Lung, oesophageal and mediastinal cancer
    • Musculoskeletal cancer

Nuclear Medicine

World-class infrastructure characterise the nuclear medicine department, including a unique molecular imaging facility, PET-CT and gamma camera imaging, and a team of highly-experienced specialists. This department is known to provide personalised medical care by precisely understanding the molecular processes at the cellular level. It improves the diagnosis and treatment outcomes significantly. The department is among very few across Kerala to provide radionuclide therapy.

Facilities and Services

Enlisting below are the facilities and services provided at the nuclear medicine department:

  • Brain Scan Including Cerebral
  • Perfusion Study
  • Thyroid Gland Scintigraphy and
  • Thyroid Uptake Study
  • Renogram Studies Using Diuretic and ACE
  • Inhibitor Interventions
  • Parathyroid Gland Scintigraphy
  • Salivary Gland Scintigraphy
  • Myocardial Perfusion Scintigraphy
  • Cardiac Amyloidosis Imaging
  • MUGA Scan
  • Lung Ventilation - Perfusion Study
  • Gastric Emptying Study
  • Gastrointestinal Bleed Study
  • Liver Scan
  • Hepatobiliary Scintigraphy
  • GFR Evaluation
  • Renal Scans
  • Bone Scan
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • MIBG Scans for Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Whole-body FDG PET-CT Scan for Oncology Patients
  • Radioactive Iodine Therapy to Treat Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Cancer
  • Whole-body Ga DOTA PET-CT Scan for Neuroendocrine Tumor Imaging
  • Lu PRRT for Neuroendocrine Tumors 131I Lipiodol Therapy for Liver Cancer
  • Myocardial FDG PET Scan for Viability Assessment in Patients with Cardiac Disorders
  • Lu PSMA Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer
  • Radioactive Therapy Using 32P, 89Sr, 153Sm to Treat Bone Pains from Tumor Metastasis to the Bone
  • MIBG for Adrenal Gland Tumors in Adults & Adrenal Gland/Nerve Tissue Tumors in Children

Psycho-Oncology Department

The department comprises psycho-oncologists, psychiatrists and counsellors who provide the right kind of emotional support to both adults and children diagnosed with cancer. It helps the patient and their family cope with the emotional turmoil while fighting this disease. The experts ensure the utmost patient privacy during counselling.

Facilities and Services

Here’s the list of the facilities and services provided at the psycho-oncology department:

  • Family Counselling
  • Couple Therapy
  • Individual Counselling and Therapy
  • Diagnosis and bereavement
  • (Bereavement Counselling)
  • Pre and Post Treatment
  • Follow-up/Support

Pain and Palliative Care

This department started functioning in 2004, catering to patients who could no longer respond to curative treatments. The services helped patients to manage their cancer-related pains and help in symptom management, thereby leading a comfortable life. The department also catered to patients suffering from incurable diseases like chronic rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, Stroke, Paraplegia, Spine Injury, Old Age, etc.

Facilities and Services

Here’s the list of the facilities and services provided at the pain and palliative care department:

  • Inpatient Care (Symptomatic Care and Terminal Care for Cancer Patients)
  • Palliative Home Care (Free Services Supported by the Community)
  • Community-based programs on Cancer Awareness and Palliative Care
  • Financial Assistance to the Deserving Poor Patients
  • Provides Free Hospital Equipment such as Air Bed, Wheel Chair, etc. for the Needy
  • Outpatient Care
  • Pain Management
  • Integrative Oncology Care

Community Oncology Department

The community oncology department aims to propagate awareness about types of cancers that can be cured if detected at early stages. The department team conducts mass education and cancer detection camps and distributes patient education and support to spread this awareness. Such awareness facilitates early and appropriate cancer screening and prevention.

Facilities and Services

Here’s looking at the facilities and services provided at the community oncology department:

  • Cancer Registry
  • Cancer Awareness
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Early Cancer Detection
  • Cancer Screening
  • Tobacco Control

The core components of a comprehensive cancer control programme are Cancer awareness, Cancer prevention, Cancer early detection , Cancer screening and early treatment.

Community Activities

  • Cancer Registry
  • Cancer Awareness
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Early Cancer Detection
  • Cancer Screening
  • Tobacco Control

Hospital Based Cancer Registry

Cancer registry is used to record information on the cancer patients visiting Caritas Hospital. This helps us to assess patient care, provide an idea of the patterns of cancer in the area and to participate in Clinical Research activities.

The department has been maintaining Hospital Based Cancer Registry (HBCRs) as per the standards and norms prescribed by the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) - National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR) - Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Bengaluru since 2013.

There are only 4 hospitals in Kerala currently associated with National Cancer Registry and Caritas Hospital is one among them.

Cancer Awareness

Intensive information, education and communication (IEC) activities are required to sensitize the community about the significance of the disease and its early detection through screening. Substantial efforts are still needed to dispel the myths, fears and gloom that tend to accompany any consideration of cancer.

The department organises various Cancer Awareness programmes in Kottayam and nearby districts to educate society about causes, risk factors , prevention and common symptoms of cancer and how to identify the symptoms early.

Early Cancer Detection

Cancer when identified early, is more likely to respond effective treatment, resulting in greater probability of surviving as well as less morbid and less expensive treatment. The establishment of an early diagnosis programme may be the most feasible strategy to reduce the proportion of patients presenting with late stage cancer and improve survival rates.

Early cancer detection can be achieved by sensitizing the community about the significance of the disease and its early detection through screening. Attendees of the awareness programmes are trained to look for the early symptoms and self examination techniques for oral and breast examinations. People with symptoms of Cancer are further followed up at Caritas Cancer Institute.

Cancer Screening

Cancer awareness is followed by Cancer Screening camps at the local communities for Oral , breast and Cervical cancer. Special focus is given to the underprivileged groups.

Tobacco Control

Anti-Tobacco campaigns are done at schools and colleges targeting young students from 5th standard about the harmful effects of Tobacco and Tobacco Cessation Counselling (TCC) is given for students who wants to quit tobacco.

In-Hospital Facilities

  1. Preventive Oncology Clinic

Preventive Oncology Clinic at Caritas Cancer Institute is utilized by patient caregivers to get themselves checked for early cancer symptoms and to get further information on Cancer prevention.

Facilities Provided are :

  • Oral Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer check ups
  1. Tobacco Cessation Clinic (TCC)

Tobacco Cessation Clinic provides the following facilities for Tobacco users who wants to quit.

  • Behavioural modifications and
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Upcoming Projects

  1. Breast Cancer Control Programme with Kudumbashree

Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. Caritas Cancer Institute along with Kudumbashree will be launching a Comprehensive Breast Cancer control programme through Kudumbashree workers.

  1. Cervical Cancer Control for Sex workers

Cervical Cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and HPV is transmitted sexually. Hence sex workers are at high risk to develop this cancer. This programme includes cervical cancer awareness followed by cervical cancer screening among sex workers to identify the women at risk for cancer and prevent the precancerous lesions if detected from developing into invasive cancer.

  1. Tobacco and related Oral Cancer Control among Migrant workers

There are around 2.5 million migrant labourers from other states (interstate migrants) working in Kerala. In terms of health care utilization, Interstate Migrant workers form a marginalized community . However use of different forms of Tobacco and associated Oral Pre-cancer lesions are very prevalent among migration workers . This is mainly due to lack of awareness , inability to access health care and language barrier.

This programme aims to educate migrant workers about the harmful side effects of tobacco and assist them in quitting tobacco. Also prevalence of Oral Pre-cancer will be evaluated and those with lesions will be given further assistance and treatment to reduce the lesions.

Our Dedicated Doctors Team.

Prof. Dr. Jose Tom
Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Dr. Unni S. Pillai
Consultant Medical Oncologist
Dr. Boben Thomas
Consultant Medical Oncologist
Dr. Jojo V. Joseph
Senior Consultant Surgical Oncologist
Dr. Johny K. Joseph
Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Dr. Jenny Joseph
Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Dr. Judith Aaron
Consultant Radiation Oncologist
Dr. Manu John
Consultant Palliative Oncologist