The truth that cancer is no respecter of persons is manifested one more time as Mathew Knowles, music executive and father of Beyoncé, reveals he has breast cancer.
Knowles’, announcement came when he told “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Oct 1, 2019, that he had undergone a mastectomy to remove the cancer. He also stated that he is planning a preventive mastectomy in the other breast. He made his decision when testing found he has a genetic mutation for the disease. The genetic variation impacts more than just Knowles. Carrying the BRCA2 gene (the mutation) means his children, which include Beyonce and Solange, and they have a 50 percent chance of carrying the gene also.
Studies show that BRCA2 increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women, and in men, it not only increases the risk of breast cancer but increases the risk of prostate, skin, and pancreatic cancer as well.
Knowles best known for managing Destiny’s Child and the careers of Beyoncé and Solange wanted to share his story to focus the public’s attention to the fact that men can get breast cancer too. Statistics show that about 2,500 men are diagnosed with the breast cancer annually, which represents about 1 percent of all breast diagnosed cancers each year.
Knowles’ treatment shows that treatment for male breast cancer is similar, and sometimes the same as treatment for female breast cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapies. One noted difference is most male patients undergo a full mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy, which is the removal of just the tumor and small amounts of surrounding tissue.
Survival rates for male breast cancer are slightly lower than female breast cancer. The reason for this is male breast cancer tends not to be diagnosed until men are older, and the disease is more advanced.
Knowles’ said his cancer journey began when he noticed red dots on his undershirt and bedsheets. Trying to find the source of the red dots, he squeezed his right nipple, and blood came out.
The next day, Knowles went to his doctor. His doctor then sent a sample to the lab for further testing and ordered a mammogram. The results of the mammogram showed a Stage 1 tumor. Follow-up testing revealed Knowles has the gene BRCA2.
Medical experts advise men not to ignore the signs and symptoms, but rather seek medical help from a doctor for further evaluation.