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Warning signs of melanoma

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  • How to spot skin cancer

    Cancerous or not? How to spot a mole

    It's well known that excessive time spent in the sun can increase your risk for developing cancerous moles. While most moles are not dangerous, how do you know if you should have a mole checked by a physician?
    It's well known that excessive time spent in the sun can increase your risk for developing cancerous moles. While most moles are not dangerous, how do you know if you should have a mole checked by a physician?
  • Teen girl survives melanoma

    Teen girl survives melanoma

    Experts are seeing a rise in young women with melanoma. Here's a look at a teen who knows the dangers of melanoma all too well after a small, innocent-looking mole turned almost deadly.
    Experts are seeing a rise in young women with melanoma. Here's a look at a teen who knows the dangers of melanoma all too well after a small, innocent-looking mole turned almost deadly.
Watching old videos of Lauren Olinde as a child reminds her family how special she was. It's hard for them to believe she's gone.

Andrew and Lauren Olinde were still newlyweds when she discovered what she'd thought was a harmless mole growing on her scalp.

Lauren was a pharmacy student at the time and had no idea she may soon be taking some of the same medicines she'd been learning about in her own battle against melanoma.

Doctor and father-in-law Andy Olinde knew shortly after the diagnosis that Lauren was in for the fight of her life.

"I got the phone call that one of the nodes, the lymph glands, was positive. I then knew it was really a bad situation. I was very concerned," he said.

Just five months after Lauren noticed the suspicious mole, the cancer had spread to other parts of her body.

Despite aggressive treatment, Lauren died. She was just 28 years old.  Now, her family hopes Lauren's story may help save someone else's life.

Olinde says, "If you can catch it early, and remove it, that's by far your best chance of survival."

People with fair skin like Lauren's are most at risk for melanoma, but experts will tell you no one is immune to the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Warning signs of melanoma include asymmetry - where half of an abnormal area looks different from the other - and borders, where the edges of a growth are irregular.

Also look for color changes from one area of the growth to another. If you notice any of these three warning signs - the ABC's (asymmetry, borders, and color) - see a doctor as soon as possible.

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