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by Abigail Van Buren

Marriage Founders as Wife and Husband Drift Slowly Apart

DEAR ABBY: My mother is struggling with melanoma. Sadly, I have become extremely familiar with the warning signs, which include moles that are unevenly shaped, a mole that's a different color than the others, or spots that are inflamed or irritated.

Abby, when I see a suspicious spot or mole on a stranger, is it appropriate for me to suggest that he or she be examined by a dermatologist? A young woman sat next to me at a baseball game recently. I wanted to say something to her, but didn't want to offend her or be intrusive.

The truth is, a simple checkup could save a life. What do you think? -- SKIN SLEUTH IN DELAWARE

DEAR SKIN SLEUTH: By all means say something to a stranger if you think it's necessary. When you do, explain WHY you felt it was important to tell him or her. Suggest the person go for a checkup, but do it privately if possible.

I hope your mother is doing well and has a good outcome.