A big problem for treating cancer patients in the UK is late presentation. This affects the chances of survival. I know of many patients who needed many GP consultations before they did get a hospital appointment.
It now seems some commissioning groups are rewarding GPs for NOT making a referral to a hospital.
I met a laryngectomee recently who told me of his experience when needing an investigatory procedure in hospital, a gastroscopy. He advised the nurse he was a laryngectomee and was reassured that there was no problem. Much to his surprise he was later told he would be provided with supplemental oxygen via a nasal cannula. The patient realised this would be pointless, with there no longer being any connection between his mouth and nose and his lungs.
It is a long-standing problem that many hospital staff and other health professionals are unaware of the altered status and needs of laryngectomees and other neck-breathers.
A useful leaflet is available from NALC which a patient can take with them to show to clinicians when facing medical treatment. It was produced in partnership with the National Tracheostomy Safety Project. It can be downloaded from the link below.