Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles has revealed he has breast cancer. The 67-year-old made the revelation during an interview with Good Morning America Michael Strahan.
One may think breast cancer only affects women. Breast cancer in men is rare: more than 99 percent of all breast cancer cases diagnosed are in women.
It is exceedingly rare for men to get breast cancer, but possible, and when they do they are more at risk of dying of the deadly disease.
Mr Knowles is a record executive and talent manager who oversaw Destiny’s Child’s rise of fame.
“I noticed because I wear white T-shirts. I had a dot of blood on my T-shirt.
The first day I was like “Oh, OK, no big deal … maybe it’s something that just got on my T-shirt.” Second day I looked and the same thing and I was like, “Eh … interesting.”
Then on the third day I was like, “What is this? I wonder what this is.”
A couple of days passed, and I didn’t have any type of discharge. Then on the fifth day, another, just a tiny drop of blood. I told my wife, I said, “Look at this,” And she says, “You know, when I cleaned the sheets the other day I saw a drop of blood on it, and I didn’t pay any attention to it — but this is kind of weird.” I immediately went to my doctor.
When I had the blood on my T-shirt initially I didn’t think it was breast cancer. My mind went a lot of places. My mind went to what medication I was on, because different medications might have caused some sort of discharge … and then I thought, just because of the risk factor, that it could be breast cancer and I would go get a mammogram.
For context, in 1980 I worked in the medical division of Xerox. I worked there for eight years, selling Xeroradiography, which was at that point the leading modality for breast cancer.“
According to a surgical oncologist, Dr. John Kiluk who specializes in breast cancer in The Center for Women’s Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, breast cancer is a very common tbing to hear from men.
“That is a very common thing to hear from male patients. When it comes to breast cancer we really don’t know what causes it. We are trying hard to find what causes cancer. … I think the one thing though that we do know is that there’s a strong genetic tie with cancer.”
“Female breast cancer is very common — it happens in 1 in 8 women,” Kiluk continued. “Male breast cancer is rare — we have about 2,000 to 3,000 cases a year in the United States. … I think anyone who presents with any kind of strong family history really do warrant to consider doing genetic testing to figure out if there is a tie that we can explain what’s going on here.”
Mr. Knowles is going to remove his second breast in January becaus6he wants to do anything to reduce the risk. “We use the words “cancer-free,” but medically there’s no such thing as “cancer-free.” There’s always a risk. My risk of a recurrence of breast cancer is less than 5%, and the removal of the other breast reduces it down to about 2%.”
His voice as a tool to inform and inspire
Mathew wants to continue the dialogue on awareness and early detection — male or female.
“The key to this is early detection. Breast cancer has been prevalent in our family. I want men and women to be aware — if you detect the cancer early you can have a low mortality rate and live a normal life. If you find breast cancer, stage 1 or stage 2, you have a really good shot at a normal life.
But it’s the importance of going and doing it. 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 (Breast Cancer Gene) 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 it’s [often] covered by all insurance companies.” He told Good Morning America.
All the best to Knowles.
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