In 2020, Nancy Smith found a small lump in her breast while doing a regular self-exam. While the chef and mother of five wasn’t too worried, she knew she needed to get tested.
It was in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it took some extra time for Smith, who splits her time between Pembroke Pines and the Bahamas, to get her mammogram and biopsy.
She was shocked when she learned she had breast cancer, but this strong and positive woman wasn’t going to allow the news to drain her of her happiness. She knew she would beat her cancer.
After her initial diagnosis, Smith saw a primary care physician with Broward Health who referred her to Shannon B. Keating, D.O., a hematologist-oncologist, and Alia Abdulla, D.O., a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist, both with the Broward Health Physician Group. After Drs. Keating and Abdulla met Smith and reviewed her test results, they formulated a plan just for her. Based on Smith’s individual tumor characteristics, the multidisciplinary team of physicians recommended a course of 16 rounds of chemotherapy followed by surgery.
Smith has been cancer-free since her chemotherapy ended in November 2021. At that point, she elected to have a bilateral mastectomy performed by Dr. Abdulla as part of her individualized treatment plan.
“Nancy made a decision that was best for her. Her care has been individualized at every stage based on her specific cancer and her needs,” Dr. Abdulla said. “I think this personalized approach, along with her positive attitude and strong support system, have been key for her progress. Nancy’s husband, siblings and children participated in her care as she underwent treatment and she never gave up.”
“My doctors and everyone at Broward Health Medical Center were amazing,” Smith said. “From the valet to the check-in desk, everyone greeted me by name and treated me like family. They have a heart for everybody who walks in their door and that’s what makes them the best.”