“My First Calls Were To My Kids And My Former Wife, Tina:” Mathew Knowles Opens Up About Breast Cancer Diagnosis

October 2, 2019  |  

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One percent of all breast cancer cases diagnosed in the United States occur in men. Mathew Knowles happens to be among the one percent. In an interview with “Good Morning America” Wednesday, the 67-year-old opened up about being diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease this past summer.

According to the music executive, he realized something was wrong when he continued to find blood on his shirts.

“I noticed because I wear white T-shirts. I had a dot of blood on my T-shirt,” Knowles told GMA’s Michael Strahan. “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.'”

After several days of noticing blood on his clothing, he mentioned it to his wife, who also confirmed that she’d found blood on their bedsheets.

“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,” said Knowles.

After undergoing a mammogram, the father of four was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“We got a mammogram and that’s when we saw that, in fact, there was breast cancer there. At least they thought. The next step is to get an ultrasound and a needle biopsy. That’s when they determined it for sure — I had breast cancer,” said Knowles.

Upon hearing the diagnosis, Mathew contacted his family to share the news and urge his children and grandchildren to undergo genetic testing.

“The first calls I made were to my kids, and my former wife, Tina. My wife, Gena, already knew; she went with me to the exam,” said Knowles.

Mathew underwent a mastectomy and will be having his other breast removed early next year to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

“I am going to get the second breast removed in January because I want to do anything I can to reduce the risk. We use the words ‘cancer-free,’ but medically there’s no such thing as ‘cancer-free,'” Knowles explained. “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%.”

Mathew hopes that his story will inspire everyone to get tested for breast cancer.

“I want to continue the dialogue on awareness and early detection — male or female. The key to this is early detection,” 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’s $250, and it’s covered by all insurance companies.”

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