AXA PPP enhances prostate cancer diagnosis pathway

AXA PPP healthcare has teamed up with screening service, Check4Cancer, to enhance its prostate cancer diagnosis pathway. The new screening process will help fast-track members with suspected prostate cancer so that they undergo a detailed MRI of the prostate before undergoing a biopsy.


Available to its individual, SME and large corporate members, the new approach avoids the invasive routine of taking small samples of tissues for analysis via needle insertion into the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum, which misses cancer 50% of the time and can often lead to infection.

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and, according to Prostate Cancer UK, one in eight diagnosed at some point in their lives.

The new screening process, which can also help fast-track cases where members are concerned about skin or breast cancer, will mean those with suspected prostate cancer - as of 26 November - can undergo a detailed MRI of the prostate before undergoing a biopsy.

The evidence for the diagnostic pathway was uncovered during a PROMIS trial published in 2017, which found that almost 30% of men would have been able to avoid having a biopsy if the scan was normal.

Richard Hindley

"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 (PMI)," said Professor Richard Hindley, who was involved with the design of the pathway and the PROMIS trial. "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."


Additionally, from 1 January 2019, any individual, SME or large corporate member of AXA PPP who experiences signs or symptoms of skin cancer need not wait to see their GP - and wait for a GP referral.

The health insurer is also making this approach available to members of large corporate schemes who suspect they may have breast cancer from 1 January 2019.

Sarah Taylor, AXA PPP healthcare's head of specialist and practitioner relations 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. We're confident that our members will find the options we're introducing for cancer diagnosis and care reassuring at what can be a troubling time in their lives."