What happens if you miss an appointment with your Skin Cancer Doctor?

Sometimes life gets in the way of your scheduled appointments. Many people pre-book their regular skin checks a year in advance, and sometimes the booking can get lost in your calendar and clash with something else by the time the date arrives.

So what happens if you can’t make it to your scheduled skin cancer check? Do you cancel it for this year and try again in 12 months? Do you cancel it and wait to see when you can squeeze it in again?

Here are our top tips for what to do when you miss your Skin Cancer Doctor appointment.

Reschedule in advance, not later

As soon as you know you won’t make the appointment, get it rescheduled. Rescheduling an appointment is much more efficient (and polite!) than cancelling and re-booking later on, and gives you the best chance of being able to book in again with your preferred doctor for a new date that suits you.

The earlier you reschedule, the sooner you’ll be able to see your doctor, and this gives the doctor a chance to fill your cancelled appointment slot for another patient in need.

Some practices also have extensive waitlists, so you may need to snap up a new appointment as quickly as possible so you don’t have to wait another 12 months. Early detection of skin cancer provides the best chances of successful treatment, so leaving big gaps between your regular skin checks is dangerous.

Be flexible

Your usual doctor may not have any upcoming availability, so you may need to ask if other doctors are available in the practice to see you sooner. You can always re-book with your usual doctor for subsequent visits. It’s advisable to stay within the same practice if possible, so that your doctors’ notes and recommendations are on hand.

Check online

Most of our centres allow online bookings. You can use this system to check upcoming appointment availability. Give the centre a call if you don’t see any slots that suit you or if your doctor is booked out online, as we can sometimes fit you in.

Give us a call

Sometimes, appointment availability isn’t immediately shown online, so calling the centre is the fastest way to find vacant slots. You may also be placed on a waitlist so we can fit you in if a last-minute cancellation arises.

Written by National Skin Cancer Centres