Cancer compensation claims

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Jonathan Speight

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A guide to making a No Win No Fee cancer claim

Awareness of cancer and its symptoms appears to have improved in recent years. High profile sufferers and media campaigns have helped to raise awareness of the importance of early screening for the condition as early as possible.

According to Cancer Research, the survival rates for cancer have improved dramatically.  The number of people who manage to overcome cancer has doubled in the past 40 years.  There are thousands of people diagnosed with cancer every year (over 331,000 in  2011), and their ability to recover is often dependent on early diagnosis and treatment.

Why is early diagnosis important?

If cancer is discovered early, it is much more likely that the patient will recover and continue to have a normal life expectancy.  Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is much more difficult to treat, so early diagnosis can dramatically alter the potential prognosis for the sufferer.  

What are the statistics regarding early diagnosis of cancer?

Cancer Research states that:

  • 9 in 10 patients who are diagnosed with bowel cancer at the earliest possible stage recover and survive for at least 5 years.
  • Over 90% of women who receive an early diagnosis of breast cancer survive past 5 years.
  • In excess of 90% of women who are diagnosed early with ovarian cancer reach the 5 year survival point.
  • 70% of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer in the earliest stages survive at least 5 years.

Late/delayed diagnosis

If you approach your GP with symptoms that could be ascribed to cancer, it is vitally important that you are referred to a specialist and for testing.  Unfortunately, some cancers produce symptoms that could be attributed to other conditions, and this is where errors can occur.

If your GP has any doubt that any of your symptoms could be caused by cancer, he or she has a responsibility to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect your health.

If there has been a delay in diagnosing cancer, it may be that your prognosis is affected by this.  If an earlier diagnosis could have resulted in less invasive treatment, or could have halted the spread of a cancerous tumour, you may be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence.

Doctors have a responsibility to investigate all symptoms, and all possible causes of those symptoms.


Misdiagnosis of cancer can have a significant impact on your recovery, and on the length and quality of your life.  If the doctor or specialist discovers  abnormalities, he is duty bound to investigate further and arrange appropriate testing.  Failing to do this can cause misdiagnosis, which  can be very traumatic as well as dangerous for the patient.

If a doctor has conducted a biopsy or other tests to detect cancerous abnormalities, he then has a responsibility to act appropriately.  Acting appropriately includes ensuring that the patient is fully informed of the results of tests, and that appropriate treatment is given in a timely fashion.

Doctors who fail to act appropriately in the wake of cancer testing or diagnosis may be liable for a clinical negligence claim.

Understanding No Win, No Fee compensation agreements

A No Win, No Fee compensation claim gets underway with a Claimant agreeing to, with a solicitor, a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a CFA).

The CFA is essentially the contract between your lawyer and you.

The agreement explains the service your solicitor provides, and crucially, the "success fee". This success fee is the percentage to be taken from the compensation if the claim is successful.

Selecting a Quittance personal injury solicitor, you have complete peace of mind knowing that you will never be out of pocket.

How to proceed

Quittance provide clear answers helping Claimants choose whether to proceed.

Find answers to common questions asked by potential Claimants on our frequently asked questions page.

Compare personal injury solicitors

Practically all injury lawyers will act for you on a no win no fee arrangement. But what will the costs be if you win? compensation claim comparison quote for a more accurate idea of how much more of your compensation you could keep with Quittance's personal injury lawyers compared with most other solicitors .

Get a personal injury claim started

If you have decided to proceed, you can begin a personal injury claim by calling 0800 612 7456 (or 0333 344 6575 from a mobile) or via our contact form.

Do you need to contact an expert solicitor first?

If you would like additional information about the process or have further questions, request a callback at a convenient time or phone on 0800 612 7456.