Sherrie Rhodes believes that some of the least common symptoms of breast cancer are the most important to know about. That’s why when this mother of three was diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew she couldn’t keep her strange symptom—two dimples on one side of her breast—a secret.
Rhodes found the dimples as she was trying on a bathing suit and remembered seeing a Facebook post about dimples being a bad sign. She immediately made an appointment to see her general practitioner, although the fact that there was no lump in her breast took away most of her concern.
After running tests, Rhodes’s doctor diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was understandably upset by the news and cried as she worried about how to tell her children. But she was also concerned for more than just herself. Days after her diagnosis, she made this post to her Facebook page to alert her friends and family to one of the more subtle symptoms of breast cancer that is often overlooked.
The photo shows part of Rhodes’s breast with two large dimples in the skin. She says it didn’t take her long to come to the conclusion that she needed to post a picture of her breast on social media.
“I decided to do the post almost straight away,” she says. “I […] sat in the car park and thought, ‘I’m going to put a picture on Facebook.’ It’s an intimate area, and I was nervous about doing it, but thought I’d do it in a delicate way and thought it would be worth it if it helped just one person.”
Rhodes hopes the post will remind people that any abnormality is something to get checked out, even if it doesn’t seem like a symptom of breast cancer. Some things to look for include unexplained nipple discharge, an area of thicker tissue, a change in the color of the skin, or a general change in shape of one breast or nipple.
Since posting, Rhodes has received numerous messages of support and gratitude from people inspired by her brave and vulnerable act. Some women have even reported having similar dimples and not knowing it could be a sign of breast cancer until they saw the post.
Thank you, Sherrie, for sharing your story and potentially helping so many other women discover their breast cancer before it’s too late.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?