Check4Cancer, a UK-based provider of screening and diagnostic cancer services, has collaborated with AXA PPP healthcare to launch a new prostate cancer diagnosis pathway.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and around 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with this disease.
The conventional method of diagnosing prostate cancer involves taking small samples of tissue for analysis through needle insertion into the prostate gland via the wall of the rectum. However, this approach is uncomfortable and is actually unnecessary in several cases. Besides leading to a significant chance of a serious infection, cancer can be missed by up to 50% of the time.
Check4Cancer teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to boost the prostate cancer diagnosis pathway for their individual, SME and large corporate members.
With this collaboration, AXA PPP members with suspected prostate cancer can now undergo a detailed MRI of the prostate before undergoing biopsy.
The evidence for this new pathway was mostly due to the PROMIS trial conducted in 2017, which showed that around 30% of men would have been able to avoid a biopsy if the scan was normal. Only the suspicious areas can then be targeted, which will subsequently increase the chances of the right diagnosis.
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Check4Cancer’s prostate cancer adviser and PROMIS trial principal investigator Professor Richard Hindley said: “It was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic and expert team and this is, without doubt, the first of its kind for men with private medical insurance. Patients will now be directed to see expert Urologists who are able to see patients in a timely manner and provide the highest quality standard of biopsy when required after a multi-parametric MRI.”
Check4Cancer chief medical officer Professor Gordon Wishart said: “Check4Cancer has worked closely with AXA PPP’s clinical team and prostate cancer specialists to develop an innovative, streamlined, evidence-based rapid access pathway for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
“By managing and auditing the diagnostic pathway, Check4Cancer can ensure that current best practice is delivered to their insured members. We are delighted that AXA PPP healthcare is also working with Check4Cancer to fast-track cases where their members are concerned about skin or breast cancer.”
For the insured and self-funing market, Check4Cancer manages and audits diagnostic pathways for breast and skin cancer. From the beginning of next year, any individual, SME or large corporate member insured with AXA PPP who shows signs or symptoms of skin cancer, do not have to wait for a GP referral and can call AXA PPP which will arrange for early diagnosis and treatment from Check4Cancer.
From 1 January 2019, the health insurance firm is also making this facility available to members of large corporate schemes who are affected by signs or symptoms of breast cancer.
AXA PPP healthcare specialist and practitioner relations head Sarah Taylor said: “Not knowing is worrying. Waiting makes it worse. If you’re concerned by prostate, skin or breast cancer the chances are you’ll be relieved to know that you have quick access to diagnosis and medical support, at a time and place that’s convenient to you, should you need it.”