LifestyleSusan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk


Susan G. Komen educates Hispanic women in Palm Beach County about breast cancer

Breast cancer survivor Nicole Smith of Palm Beach County holds a "Survivor" mug.jpg
Posted at 6:26 AM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 06:28:55-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Chances are someone in your inner circle of friends or family will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

One out of every eight women will get breast cancer, according to national statistics.

For Hispanic women in the U.S., breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Just when life was getting good, Nicole Smith, a dance teacher and Crossfit athlete, caught a curveball.

"Nobody thought cancer. No one," Smith said.

WPTV anchor Hollani Davis speaks to breast cancer survivor Nicole Smith.jpg
WPTV anchor Hollani Davis speaks to breast cancer survivor Nicole Smith in her Palm Beach County home.

Doctors thought arthritis because of her joint pain and swelling. It wasn't until about six months later, there was tenderness and discharge from her breast.

"I was young. Just turned 30. No genetic history. Don't smoke," Smith said.

Smith got not one, but two ultrasounds. They came back clear. Doctors treated her for a staph infection. When she still didn't get better, it seemed like a stretch, but she was sent in for her first mammogram.

"I remember walking a short distance from one door to the other, and I looked at my sister and I was like, they're going to tell me I have breast cancer," Smith said. "And she was like, no they're not. No they're not. And I was like, I feel it. That's what they're going to tell me. And sure enough, we sit down and my surgeon was like, you have breast cancer."

Smith is part of the 29%, or 24,000, Hispanic women diagnosed in the U.S. each year with breast cancer.

The Susan G. Komen foundation is concentrating on areas like Palm Beach County where the minority population is high, knowing barriers like work schedules and transportation may have kept this group from getting screened during the pandemic.

"One of the concerns that we have at Komen is that there a lot of people that put off their screenings," said Jaime Bellamy, the development director at Susan G. Komen.

Today, after four rounds of chemo and a double mastectomy, Smith has no evidence of stage two cancer. Her cup is full and a small reminder of the badge she wears.

You can aid in the fight against cancer at the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk on Saturday in downtown West Palm Beach. For more information, click here.

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