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37-year-old mom shares uncommon early-warning sign for breast cancer

Sherrie Rhodes was caught entirely off guard by her breast cancer diagnosis, but she didn't want others to miss this surprising symptom.
/ Source: TODAY

While breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, it's most widely known to be detected by the discovery of a lump.

But that's not how 37-year-old Sherrie Rhodes, mother of three, discovered the first signs of her diagnosis, which she received after a biopsy earlier this week.

"Yesterday I was diagnosed with breast cancer," she wrote in a Facebook post on July 25. "It came as a total shock as this dimpling (in the pic) is the only symptom I had."

While lumps are still the main indicator of breast cancer, many more subtle changes could also be crucial early-warning signs, such as redness or skin irritation, discharge or pain around the nipples, or, as Sherrie found, a few dents, or "dimpling."

She had been putting on a bathing suit when the Briton noticed a few dents in the side of her breast - pointing out the unusual image in her Facebook post. "I wasn't too worried as there was no lump or anything," she wrote. "Unfortunately it came back as breast cancer."

She decided to post a photo "almost straight away," according to an interview with the Daily Mail. She added that she thought "it would be worth it if it helped just one person."

Rhodes said she was unaware that dimpling could be a symptom prior to her own discovery, but two other women have shared posts previously to help others detect this lesser-known symptom of breast cancer.

Lisa Royle, in 2015, and Claire Warner, earlier this year – both women from England in their early 40s – shared photos of the dimpling in their breasts. Many women reached out to them after seeing the photos to share their own findings of cancer in an early stage.

Similarly, Rhodes' post has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

"If I hadn't seen a post like this previously I wouldn't have known that this dimpling was a sign of cancer," she wrote.

Learn more about what breast dimpling looks like, and three important (if not simple) lifestyle changes you can make right now to impact your risk of breast cancer.