Mathew Knowles is determined to get men tested for breast cancer after he was diagnosed with the disease this year.
In an interview with Good Morning America Wednesday (Oct. 2), the 67-year-old music executive said he learned of his diagnosis this summer after he noticed small dots of blood on his shirt and sheets. After pointing them out to his wife, he got a mammogram and learned about his diagnosis.
“When I had the blood on my T-shirt initially I didn’t think it was breast cancer,” he told GMA co-host, Michael Strahan. “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.”
Knowles underwent surgery in July, removing one of his breasts. While he’s doing”really good,” he wants men to know about the BRCA gene and how a blood test can inform met about their exposure to male breast cancer and prostate cancer as well as pancreatic cancer and melanoma. Knowles’ test revealed a mutation on his BRCA2. He also got two moles after they back benign for melanoma.
“I am going to get the second breast removed in January because I want to do anything I can to reduce the risk,” he said “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 percent, and the removal of the other breast reduces it down to about 2 percent.”
Knowles immediately told Beyoncé and Solange about his diagnosis. Children of cancer patients have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the BRCA gene mutation. “The first calls I made were to my kids, and my former wife, Tina,” he said. “My wife, Gena, already knew; she went with me to the exam. It was July and I had surgery immediately.”
Knowles wants men and women to take the BRCA test. “I get frustrated that people aren’t going to get the procedure,” he said. “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 it’s [often] covered by all insurance companies.”
According to the American Cancer Society, 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will happen in the U.S. this year. Black men sadly have the most severe prognosis.
Watch his interview below.