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URMC skin cancer screening draws big turnout

Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

By Josh Peterson


Over 80 people attended United Regional Medical Center’s free skin cancer screening at the hospital Thursday.

The high number overshot the hospital’s expected turnout, but it was well worth it, said marketing director Claudia Simmons.

Sharon Dalkos

Staff photo by Josh Peterson - Sharon Dalkos fills out a registration form for her free skin cancer screening provided by United Regional Medical Center Thursday.

“This is a much bigger crowd than we expected,” said Simmons while passing out registration forms. “But that is okay, we are happy to serve.”

Sharon Dalkos attended the screening as a precaution.

“I want to get checked because I noticed some scabs that weren’t healing,” said Dalkos. “I think it’s awesome and a good idea [for the hospital] to have this screening. A lot of people don’t have insurance and can’t do it on their own.”

Out of the 84 people who piled into the front lobby of the hospital for the three-hour screening, only 43 were able to get their screening done by Dr. James Van Winkle due to time constraints. But Simmons said she gathered contact numbers for everyone else and will be calling and setting up appointments.

“We only had 50 forms so I ran out fast,” she said. “I got everybody’s number and I will call them to get an appointment.”

If anyone left early and did not give Simmons their contact information, they can contact her directly at 931-461-2596 and still take advantage of the free skin cancer screening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 19 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with melanoma in Tennessee in 2008, the most recent year with statistics available.

Tennessee also has one of the highest death rates for melanoma when compared to other states. According to the CDC, 3 people for every 100,000 died from melanoma in Tennessee in 2008. Only Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Vermont and West Virgina had a higher mortality rate.

States including Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virgina, Washington and Wyoming all have the same rate as Tennessee.

– Josh Peterson can be reached at