Mathew Knowles, father of pop diva Beyonce, has revealed his battle with male breast cancer and urged other men to get tested for the disease.
The 67-year-old music executive talked about his illness in an interview on the TV show Good Morning, America on Oct 2, saying he was diagnosed earlier this summer after he and his current wife noticed recurring dots of blood on his shirts and on their bedsheets.
“Of all the things I could get, why would I get this?” he said, describing his initial reaction. “From a man’s perspective, I’m thinking, why me?” Knowles said he underwent surgery in the last week of July and was now “doing really good”.
“I’m hoping by me coming here today, speaking out, letting folks know that you can survive this, but it has to be early detection and I can’t overemphasise the word ‘early’,” he told the host, Michael Strahan.
Knowles added that his battle with cancer has changed his outlook on life, and that his rare type of cancer means he’s also at high risk of getting melanoma, as well as prostate and pancreatic cancer.
“This is genetics,” said Knowles, who managed his superstar daughter from her Destiny’s Child years in the late-1990s until she cut business ties with him in 2011.
“It also means that my kids have a higher chance, a higher risk, even my grandkids have a higher risk. And they handled it like they should. They went and got the test,” he said.
Knowles said it was essential that men, especially black men, who are more at risk of getting breast cancer, be more aware and get tested. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 245,000 women and 2,200 men in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
About 41,000 women and 460 men in the US die each year from breast cancer. Meanwhile, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. – AFP