Beyoncé and Solange Knowles’ father, Mathew Knowles, revealed in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America that he is a breast cancer survivor. In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, Knowles used his platform to raise awareness about his rare diagnosis.
As Knowles recalls during his GMA interview, two months ago, he noticed a recurring spot of blood on his shirt. “So, I immediately went to my doctor and got a mammogram [the standard breast cancer screening procedure], and then it was very clear that I had breast cancer,” Knowles told GMA’s Michael Strahan.
According to BreastCancer.org, less than 1% of all diagnosed breast cancer cases appear in men.
Knowles’ doctors discovered he has the BRCA 2 gene, a common marker for multiple types of cancers including prostate, skin, breast, and ovarian. In 2013, Angelina Jolie also came forward via a New York Times op-ed about her diagnosis of the BRCA 1 gene, which caused her to have an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer. Jolie ultimately underwent several medical procedures to prevent these cancers from developing.
.@GMA EXCLUSIVE: @MathewKnowles, the father of @Beyonce and @solangeknowles, sits down one-on-one with @michaelstrahan as he reveals his breast cancer diagnosis. https://t.co/zMRJ4O03lS pic.twitter.com/eaQz5yqHIv— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 2, 2019
Because Knowles caught his cancer early, his doctors were able to successfully remove it in July, and he is now doing “all the steps for recovery,” he told Strahan. However, he’ll need to stay vigilant about his cancer risk for the rest of his life.
Knowles urges other men to do self examinations —especially black men. According to Cancer.org, black men have the highest cancer incidence rate, as Strahan also reminded listeners. Strahan himself said he had no idea that breast cancer could even impact men until his own brother was diagnosed. And because this cancer diagnosis is heavily linked to genetics, Knowles reminded Strahan to get tested for the BRCA gene.
.@MathewKnowles’ message for others after his breast cancer diagnosis: “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 overemphasize the word early.” https://t.co/zMRJ4O03lS pic.twitter.com/pctiQAP4Y8— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 2, 2019
To learn more about breast cancer self-examination, statistics, genetic testing, early detection, and treatment options, head over to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.