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Colorado Springs doctor weighs in on fight against cancer during pandemic

dr matei

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - The Susan G. Komen virtual More Than Pink Walk is just weeks away, and the event is always a good reminder to continue self-exams and schedule your yearly mammograms.

KRDO Newschannel 13's Hanna Knutson spoke with Dr. Carmen Matei from Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers to find out how COVID-19 is impacting breast cancer patients and doctors right now.

"With COVID we see more advanced cancers because patients delay screening. They have tumors, they don't work, they don't have money and they don't go to the doctors. We see a whole range of cancers which are more advanced," Dr. Matei said.

What are your recommendations when it comes to screening and treating breast cancer during the pandemic?

"We recommend everybody continue their screening as normal as possible, but some of them had a delay in diagnosis and, of course, treatment."

Are you seeing a decline in women getting mammograms?

"I believe that 80% of patients are following the routine screening mammograms, but I think some of them are still scared."

What is the difference between a self-exam and a screening mammogram when it comes to detecting breast cancer?

"Usually, the breast cancer which is felt on the breast during the self-breast examination is a little bit more advanced than we would like, therefore, I strongly encourage every woman to proceed with a screening mammogram."

Have you seen a rise in breast cancer among younger women?

"Unfortunately, we do see a rise in breast cancer patients in younger women. I truly believe that it is more awareness and starting screening early."

"Actually, this morning, I had a 33-year-old with advanced cancer. She felt it before her pregnancies, she became more pregnant and the tumor got worse. Unfortunately, she said 'I'm pregnant, I got this change in the breast, I'm not going to pay any attention to it.' She is late stage three, so it's going to be much harder to treat. She has a good attitude and hopefully she will be okay."

Join KRDO and others in the fight against breast cancer by participating in the virtual More Than Pink Walk on Sunday, September 27.

For more information, and to sign-up go to

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Hanna Knutson

Hanna is the traffic reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Hanna here.



  1. “she became more pregnant…”
    A woman is either pregnant or she’s not, so there’s no such thing as “more pregnant.” Perhaps this meant “further along in her pregnancy…”

    1. I think that was the intent of the comment. This was probably hormone-driven cancer and the high level of hormones produced by the pregnancy just drove it to metastasize at a fast pace. I am stuck at stage 4 but currently no evidence of disease. It’s like walking on a sheet of thin glass. I can never stop treatment. I can never ring the bell. And then there is this thing called patient profiling.

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