We’re turning our ActiveQuote HQ blue throughout September to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the signs our male colleagues need to know about.

It’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we’re highlighting the symptoms of male cancer for anyone in need of more information. We’ve placed leaflets in communal areas and put up posters all around the office, as well as planning a cake sale - with blue iced cupcakes, of course! - later in the month, to help break the taboo around this difficult-to-discuss illness.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, one in eight men in the UK will get prostate cancer, with those over 50, men with a family history of prostate cancer and men from black ethnic backgrounds more at risk. The most common age for diagnosis is between 65 and 69, although men of any age can be affected.

We’ve sent a company-wide email detailing the effects of prostate cancer and reminding staff that, once they pass their probation, they automatically join our private health scheme, which includes cancer cover. Sales support manager Tracy Carwardine said: “Like most cancers, prostate cancer is a topic that can be difficult to talk openly about, but raising awareness is a step in the right direction. 

“As part of our staff benefits, all employees are enrolled in our company health scheme once they have passed a probationary period and, while we all hope never to use this benefit, it’s very comforting to know that it’s there should we need to. Staff can also include immediate family members on the policy at a discounted rate, and it certainly gives me and my family extra peace of mind.”

Private medical insurance (PMI), while not covering pre-existing conditions, can be a lifeline if you have a new health issue needing further investigation. Health insurance allows you to bypass lengthy NHS waiting lists and see an expert at the hospital or centre of your choice, enabling policyholders to get an appointment within weeks or even days, as opposed to months. It covers investigations and tests as well as treatments if needed.

According to financial information business Defaqto*, of the 49 PMI products on our panel, around three quarters (37) have cancer cover available as standard, while more than half (29) offer a full refund for outpatient radiotherapy and chemotherapy as standard.

An experimental new urine test which can reveal whether men are in the early stages of prostate cancer has been described by Cancer Research UK as ‘promising’, although more research is needed before it can be routinely offered.

Our cake sale will be held on Friday, September 27, with proceeds being divided between prostate cancer and Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. 


* Data sourced on September 10 2019.