Hospital news

Self-examination is essential for early detection of breast cancer

“I was treated like family at Broward Health”

October 24, 2022 – In 2020, Nancy Smith found a small lump in her breast during a regular self-examination. Although the chef and mother of five was not too worried, she knew she had to get tested.

It was early in the COVID-19 pandemic, so it took a little longer for Smith, who splits his time between Pembroke Pines and the Bahamas, to get his mammogram and biopsy.

She was shocked when she learned she had breast cancer, but this strong, positive woman wasn’t going to let the news drain her of happiness. She knew she was going to beat her cancer.

After her initial diagnosis, Smith saw a primary care physician at Broward Health who referred her to Shannon B. Keating, DO, hematologist-oncologist, and Alia Abdulla, DO, fellow-trained breast surgery oncologist, both with the Broward Health Physician Group.

After Drs. Keating and Abdulla met with Smith and reviewed his test results. They formulated a plan just for her. Based on the individual characteristics of Smith’s tumor, the multidisciplinary team of doctors recommended a course of 16 cycles of chemotherapy followed by surgery.
Smith has been cancer-free since completing her chemotherapy in November 2021. At that time, she opted to have a bilateral mastectomy performed by Dr. Abdulla as part of her individualized treatment plan.

“Nancy made the decision that suited her best. Her care was individualized at every stage based on her specific cancer and needs,” Dr. Abdulla said. “I think that personalized approach, along with her positive attitude and strong support system, was key to her progress. Nancy’s husband, siblings and children were involved in her care while she went through 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 counter, everyone greeted me by name and treated me like family. They have a heart for everyone who walks through their door and that’s what makes them the best.

To learn more about Broward Health’s cancer services, please visit

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