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Colorado Springs woman says KKTV skin check event saved her life

A local woman who showed up to our recent skin check drive-thru says that event saved her life. When she heard Dianne Derby's story about her recent melanoma diagnosis, she decided to get in line with hundreds of you who showed up, too. Her diagnosis wasn't good. Now, as we get ready to bring you two more free skin check drive-thrus, she hopes her story will help save even more lives.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:35 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The long scar across Tina Wenning’s back is what’s left behind after a deadly skin cancer diagnosis she got from dermatologist Dr. Vinh Chung.

“I had heard of melanoma but I did not know just how serious it could be,” Wenning said.

Chung says Wenning’s cancer had the classic “ABCDE” warning signs of melanoma. It was asymmetrical, the borders had irregular edges, the color was not the same throughout, the diameter was larger than a pencil eraser, and it was evolving.

“I was putting lotion on my back and it started to bleed,” Wenning said. “I thought. ‘That’s it’.”

When Wenning saw our story talking about our upcoming skin cancer event she got in line with hundreds of other people to get it checked out.

“I decided I’m going to do this, I’m going to take the afternoon off, I’m going to go get in line and see what [the dermatologists] say,” she said. “Thank God I did.”

Wenning’s case got so serious her lymph nodes under her arms were removed, too. Thankfully, she’s now cancer-free.

“Tina, your story is what gets me up every morning,” Chung said. “Your story is what makes 15 years of education worthwhile.”

“I’m so grateful to this office, to you Dianne, to your television station for caring,” said Wenning. “I’m just thanking God for putting it on my heart that this needs to be looked at, this needs to be taken care of.”

In the first-ever KKTV skin check event:

- There were 12 confirmed skin cancers with additional biopsy results pending

- Of the skin cancers detected, six had melanoma diagnosis.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

KKTV 11 News is excited to partner once again with Vanguard Skin Specialists to bring you two more free skin spot check drive-thru events.

- The first one will be held in Pueblo on Aug. 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Vanguard Skin Specialists located at 5700 N. Elizabeth Street.

- The second event will be held in Colorado Springs on Sept. 12, 2020 from 9 a.m.-noon at Vanguard Skin Specialists located at 9348 Grand Cordera Parkway.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is the Spot Check?

KKTV and Vanguard Skin Specialists encourage you to examine yourself for any new or changing moles. If you have a suspicious spot, get it checked out. The dermatologists at Vanguard Skin Specialists will be available to examine your concerning spots, new moles, and changing moles.

Due to the drive-through nature of the event, this is NOT a full-body skin cancer screening. We will check spots you are concerned about, and areas that are easily viewable and accessible from your car or right outside your car.

What is the process?

Simply show up on Friday afternoon, and you will be directed to a drive through line. You will be asked to fill out basic demographic information and a waiver.

If you have a spot that is easily visible, you can step out of your car and a dermatologist or dermatology PA will take a quick look. If you need some privacy for us to view the concerning spot, you will be directed to a tent. You will receive a presumptive diagnosis on what the spot could be and a recommendation on whether you need further evaluation.

What is not included?

If you have a spot that appears atypical or malignant, the dermatology provider will recommend a biopsy. This is a diagnostic procedure to confirm what type of growth you have. The biopsy and/or recommended follow up with a dermatologist is the responsibility of the patient.

What should I wear?

If the spot is on your face, please do not wear makeup. Wear clothing that makes it easy for the dermatology provider to see the spot(s) you are concerned about. Please wear a mask.

Will there be social distancing?

The Spot Check is provided as a drive-through screening to allow for social distancing. You may remain in your car. Our volunteer team will be temperature screened and wearing masks. We also change gloves and disinfect our hands between patients. We disinfect all pens and clipboards.

Who are the dermatology providers volunteering for the Spot Check Event?

Vinh Chung, MD

Michael Leslie, MD

Renata Prado, MD

Maria Sheron, MD

Landon Barton, PA-C

What if it rains?

We will be performing our Spot Check rain or shine. If we have thunderstorms, we will not be able to have the event.

Will I be on TV?

The KKTV news crew will be on-site, so your image or video may appear on KKTV. KKTV will not film patient examinations or release patient information without your consent. KKTV will not have access to your medical record.

Does this replace my regular dermatology visit?

No, the Spot Check is not a substitute for a thorough full-body skin exam performed in an office setting. Many skin cancers can be detected only from a thorough skin exam, and all adults should see their doctor annually for a skin cancer screening exam.

What if I have a concerning spot that needs follow up?

You may follow up with Vanguard Skin Specialists, your regular dermatologist, or another dermatologist in the area. You may find a list of dermatologists at www.aad.org.

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