Bupa UK has launched a self-referral service for breast and bowel cancer so customers can have access to the right specialists without needing a GP referral.
Bupa UK health insurance customers who suspect they have symptoms of breast or bowel cancer can call the new nurse led self-referral team.
Using NICE guidelines, the team will then either quickly refer the customer directly to the right specialist for tests, or if they do not meet the criteria advise the customer to seek further advice from their GP.
Customers who are advised to see their GP will be offered a call back in two weeks as further support, Bupa said.
If diagnosed early, nine out of 10 cases of bowel cancer can be treated successfully according to Cancer Research.
In addition, 99% of women with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or longer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, compared with 15% of women when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
Dr Lizzie Tuckey, UK medical director, Bupa UK said:"We know that our customers are busy people, and that, sometimes, seeing your GP simply isn't possible. We recently carried out research which showed that over half of Londoners regularly cancel or re-schedule health appointments because of work commitments.
"The long term effects of these missed appointments can have serious implications on a person's health. If you combine that with the fact that the UK has the worst cancer survival in Western Europe, it's clear that something needs to be done. We hope that this new pathway will mean that more cancers are diagnosed earlier and that more will make a better recovery."