Providing free skin cancer screenings and advice on sun safety and skin cancer prevention
AAD member Susan Boiko, MD, FAAD, FAAP, volunteered to screen patients during Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Dr. Boiko's story
I was happy to celebrate May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Despite a heat advisory, one of my proudest afternoons was when I was able to work outdoors under a popup tent sponsored by Vista Community Clinic (VCC). In addition to dermatologists like me and dermatology residents, other community service groups such as health insurers, federally qualified health clinics and mental health outreach organizations, and the vaccination team were there so we could all work together to best serve the patients.
This experience was notable for a truly dedicated dermatology resident colleague, Nicholas Bohrer, MD, who stayed the entire time to see 41 patients with me. He used his fantastic Spanish language skills in conjunction with a volunteer interpreter to counsel attendees on sun safety and skin cancer prevention. This was very helpful because 26 of the patients we saw completed forms in Spanish.
This experience was also notable for me personally because something happened that has never happened to me in more than 10 years of doing skin cancer screenings. An elderly man returned to show me a biopsy report of a suspicious spot I’d noted 3 months earlier. The report showed squamous cell carcinoma, successfully removed. Then when I examined him again, I found a possible basal cell carcinoma.
His wife wanted me to be his doctor. I explained that in practice I only see children, but at her behest I wrote "Needs total body skin exam" on the screening form copy that I returned to them. I know they can show that to their doctor and get the necessary care. It is wonderful to see someone and their family take the initiative to be screened for skin cancer and then follow through for treatment. I’m so grateful to all the VCC staff and volunteers for helping to make skin cancer screenings like this possible.
Support SPOT Skin Cancer™
The SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative helps reduce the incidence of skin cancer and saves lives by building shade structures, providing free skin cancer screenings, and installing sunscreen dispensers. Learn more about how you can get involved.Get involved