A 2020 World Health Organization report on Thailand showed that nearly 1 in 10 cancer cases among males were in the prostate, making it the seventh most common form of cancer for men in Thailand.
If detected at an early stage, prostate cancer can often be treated. However, the disease is unique in that it often develops slowly over many years with no symptoms appearing until its later stages. As a result, many men in Thailand weren’t discovering their cancer until it had become more dangerous and had spread to other parts of the body.
This danger highlighted several problems in need of solving: A lack of proper diagnostic tools in Thailand made early detection of prostate cancer difficult. There was also limited awareness among patients about the importance of detecting the disease early. Once the cancer was identified, financial barriers blocked access to life-saving treatment.
Axios partnered with a prominent insurance company in Thailand to increase awareness among the company’s policyholders about the importance of screening earlier for prostate cancer, and to improve access to those screenings by removing potential financial barriers. Axios created a Patient Support Program (PSP) which provided vouchers for free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests. These tests can help detect prostate cancer and were offered to any male policyholder aged 50 – 70 years (the age at which the prevalence of prostate cancer in men rises sharply) as well as to any of the policyholder’s male relatives of the same age. Through the PSP, Axios coordinated with physicians to provide screenings to relevant patients.
As of late 2022, more than 1,000 policyholders in Thailand were screened for prostate cancer as a result of this PSP. By increasing awareness among stakeholders and removing financial barriers for screenings, a higher percentage of Thai patients received an earlier diagnosis. This in turn enabled patients to receive treatment earlier, helping to potentially improve their long-term prognosis.