Walking down the jetway, I hear a woman's voice behind me, "Umm, excuse me. May I ask if you work in the sun?"
The man behind me answers, "Huh? I work inside, but I play outdoor sports."
With a micro-chuckle of embarrassment, the woman says, "Gosh, I hope you don't think I'm crazy or overstepping my bounds, but were you aware of the black spot on your earlobe?
By now, I've turned to see the woman staring at the man's left ear as he reaches for the offending lobe and scrapes off flecks of black.
With smiles all around, he solves the mystery: "I've been painting."
While we slowly make our way to the jet door, I learn how the woman was startled years earlier by a stranger who pointed out a black spot with irregular borders on her calf. She'd never noticed the malignant melanoma that was subsequently cured with surgery.
After cancer, survivors know the warning signs of cancer (at least, of their type of cancer) as well as the pain and loss of survivorship. Compassion can drive them to overstep traditional social boundaries to protect someone who seems unaware of a warning sign of cancer.
If in the same situation, would you say something?
As I see it, the worst that happens is you get scolded by someone who then ignores your advice. At best, you motivate someone to see a doctor, a step that may save the stranger's life.