COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 6/28/20:
Dermatologist Dr. Vinh Chung was pretty happy when he showed up to examine patients outside his office at Vanguard Skin Specialists on Friday afternoon in north Colorado Springs.
"This is the easiest way to save a life," he said.
But he knows what he was about to find in this long line was no laughing matter.
"In just a quick minute checkup we can find a spot that can be curable and we can save someone's life," he said.
One of the patients who had a spot check was Wayne Wentworth. He learned a spot on his forehead that showed up 6 months ago was skin cancer.
"(Dr. Chung said) it grows real slow," said Wentworth. "It's not like I'm gonna die tomorrow, but it was the right thing to come in and get it checked."
Wentworth wasn't the only one with a concerning spot. Dr. Chung found at least 10 skin cancers during the three-hour long drive through. His team of doctors found dozens more. In all, 349 patients showed up for the spot check. Of those, 69 need to have a biopsy for a possible skin cancer of atypical mole. Of those, at least 7 are highly concerning for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer
Thankfully, there were plenty of patients who came through with concerns that turned out to be nothing.
"They found a seborrhoeic keratosis, an old person's mole," joked Brad Wallace.
"I just wanted some spots checked for cancer and everything was great," said patient Joyce Stark. "This is a wonderful thing for them to do."
It is a peace of mind that all starts with a decision to show up and take care of your health.
"It was your story (of melanoma), Dianne," said Wentworth as he teared up in the parking lot. "That's what started the whole thing. It was a little thing on you, it's a little thing on me, but I keep thinking about it, I keep worrying about it. So coming in and doing something was the right thing and this made it easy.
We are already working with Vanguard Skin Specialists on our next skin spot check event. We will let you know when a date is set.
11 News is partnering with local dermatologists for a free drive-thru skin check in Colorado Springs! The event has a special meaning for 11 News anchor Dianne Derby following a recent treatment.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for a list of frequently asked questions about the event.
Vanguard Skin Specialists and KKTV 11 News
Friday, June 26 from noon to 3:30 p.m.
The parking lot at Vanguard Skin Specialists North Colorado Springs location 9348 Grand Cordera Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80924. This location is off Powers and Briargate Parkway. There will also be private screening areas with dermatologists for areas of the skin under your clothing you want to be checked out. Please wear a mask!
HOW TO TAKE PART
Come to the parking lot at Vanguard Skin Specialists North Colorado Springs and one of the dermatologists will do a skin check on you for free. Yes, it's FREE. All ages are welcome. Maybe you or one of your family members have a mole or spot you always wondered about but didn't have the money to have it checked. The dermatologists will take a look and let you know if any areas on your skin need further treatment. If so, they will suggest you or your own dermatologist take a biopsy your skin. It’s a free skin check and it could save your life.
COVID-19 closed many medical offices for months and prevented patients from getting their skin checked for Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May. When 11 News Anchor Dianne Derby recently was treated for the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, she knew she wanted to make sure no one else faced the same diagnosis. Dianne is doing well, but she and KKTV 11 News want you to be too.
Click here for more about Vanguard Skin Specialists.
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.