Music executive Mathew Knowles, the former manager of his singer daughters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, says he is a recent survivor of breast cancer. He added that men should be aware they are susceptible and that early detection is important.
In an interview Wednesday on "Good Morning America" and an accompanying article he wrote for the show's website, Knowles, who is in his mid-60s, explained that two months ago he noticed a spot of blood on his shirt. "I told my wife," he said on air, "and she says, 'You know what? I saw a dot of blood on the sheets.' So I immediately went to my doctor, I got a mammogram and then it was very clear that I had breast cancer."
He noted he has a mutated BRCA2 gene, which is associated with a higher-than-average risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and other types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. "The rest of my life I have to be very much aware and conscious and do all of the early detection," Knowles said. "Constant mammograms, constant prostate exams, constant MRIs for the rest of my life."
Because of that genetic component, he added, "It also means that my kids have a higher chance, a higher risk. Even my grandkids have a higher risk." His first call upon learning his diagnosis, he said, was to call family members. "And they handled it like they should: They went and got the test.”
It was unclear what treatment he underwent. In his article he said only, "I am going to get the second breast removed in January," without having noted a first breast’s removal.
Knowles on air addressed the often-overlooked fact that men, particularly those of African American descent, can develop breast cancer. He said that a stigma about it prevents many from discussing it.
"The numbers we have for men on breast cancer are not adequate because we don't have enough men to come forward that take the exam," he said. "I'm hoping by me coming here today, speaking out, [I am] letting folks know that you can survive this. But it has to be early detection. And I can't overemphasize the word 'early.' "
He added in his article, "I get frustrated that people aren't going to get the procedure. For men and women, it's taking the time to get a BRCA test — just a simple blood test. You can do it in addition to any other blood tests you're doing, or you can do it separately. It [can be as low as] $250" and may be covered by insurance, he said. "We'll go get a new pair of shoes. Well, why not an important test you can go and get that could save your life? Equally important, your children's lives."
Neither Beyoncé nor Solange Knowles has publicly commented about their father's breast cancer.