Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 1 in 8 diagnosed at some point in their lives.1 Indeed, with Men’s Health Awareness Month underway, the importance of tackling this prevalent disease is, quite rightly, capturing public attention.

Cambridge, UK, 27th November 2018 / Sciad NewswireTraditionally, the diagnosis of prostate cancer has involved taking small samples of tissue for analysis via needle insertion into the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum. This invasive approach can be uncomfortable and, in many cases, unnecessary with a significant chance of a serious infection. Furthermore, significant cancer can be missed up to 50% of the time.  

In light of this Check4Cancer, a trusted provider of screening and diagnostic cancer services, has worked closely with AXA PPP healthcare to improve the prostate cancer diagnosis pathway for their individual, SME and large corporate members. By teaming up with Check4Cancer, AXA PPP members with suspected prostate cancer can, from 26 November 2018, undergo a detailed MRI of the prostate BEFORE undergoing biopsy.

The evidence for the new diagnostic pathway was in a large part due to the PROMIS trial which was published in 2017.2 In this study almost 30% of men would have been able to avoid having a biopsy if the scan was normal. Any suspicious areas can then be targeted, thereby maximising the likelihood of making the correct diagnosis. AXA PPP healthcare’s approach is breaking new ground among insurers, and it removes the prospect of men having to face the invasive biopsy procedure by default at the outset. 

Professor Richard Hindley, Check4Cancer’s prostate cancer advisor, as well as a principle investigator in the PROMIS trial, 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.”

Professor Gordon Wishart, Check4Cancer’s Chief Medical Officer 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.”

Check4Cancer currently manages and audits diagnostic pathways for breast and skin cancer for the insured and self-funding market. From 01 January 2019 any individual, SME or large corporate member insured with AXA PPP who experiences signs or symptoms of skin cancer needn’t wait to see their GP – and further wait for a GP referral. All they have to do is call AXA PPP who’ll arrange for early diagnosis and treatment (if required and eligible) from Check4Cancer’s provider experts. The health insurer is also making this new approach to diagnosis available (from 01 January 2019) to members of large corporate schemes who are affected by signs or symptoms of breast cancer.

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.”


For further information, contact:

Professor Gordon Wishart
T: 0800 085 6663

Sciad Communications, Media Relations
Deborah Cockerill / Juliette Craggs
T: +44 (0)20 7470 8801

Notes to Editors

About Check4Cancer
Check4Cancer is the reliable and trusted provider of early cancer detection and genetic services in the UK. The Company offers rapid access to personalised screening and diagnostic services for anyone anxious about a possible cancer diagnosis, as well as genetic testing and counselling for patients at increased risk of hereditary cancer. Check4Cancer covers bowel, breast, cervical, lung, prostate and skin cancer for the private, insured and corporate markets.

Check4Cancer partners with companies in the UK, USA & Europe, facilitating the offering of cancer screening and awareness as an employee benefit. Existing corporate clients include BBC, Novartis, Sky, VW, Deloitte, HP, Lendlease, Unicredit, Nissan, Volvo and Zurich.

Check4Cancer helps combat one of the fastest growing areas of medical need, as cancer is predicted to impact 1 in 2 people by 2020.3 Early detection gives patients a better chance of surviving cancer,4 and Check4Cancer is the first step.


2 Ahmed HU, El-Shater Bosaily A, Brown LC, Gabe R, Kaplan R, Parmar MK, Collaco-Moraes Y, Ward K, Hindley RG, Freeman A, Kirkham AP, Oldroyd R, Parker C, Emberton M; PROMIS study group. Diagnostic accuracy of multi-parametric MRI and TRUS biopsy in prostate cancer (PROMIS): a paired validating confirmatory study (February 2017)

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