We all know who Mathew Knowles is – he used to appear beside the voluptuous Beyonce in most snaps taken before 2011, or the year both of them decided that he would step down as his daughter’s manager, a role which he occupied since she was just a teenager auditioning for different gigs.
He also managed the iconic girl group Destiny’s Child, which consisted of Queen Bey, Michelle Williams, and Kelly Rowland. Since he departed from his celebrity client, he became relatively quiet.
Rare for Men
Until recently when he made a shocking revelation. In an interview, Mathew announced that he is a breast cancer survivor, having been one of the few men to have caught the illness. What’s interesting is that we always hear women who suffer from this and rarely men.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are only 2,200 men who learn they have this type of cancer every year as opposed to the 245,000 women. The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, said males have a 1 in 833 risk for the development of breast cancer.
Mathew, who is now busy with a teaching stint at the Prairie View A&M University, explained he got a hint that there was something wrong when he saw a red dot on his shirt.
At first, he surmised it was food that stained his top, but after the recurring instance, he became worried. His wife, Gena Avery Knowles (not to be confused with Beyonce and Solange Knowles’ mother Tina Knowles Lawson), also saw blood on their sheets.
He immediately went to the doctor to have himself checked and after getting a mammogram, Mathew learned that he had stage 1A breast cancer. He underwent a mastectomy in July, the same month he was given the diagnosis.
Three lymph nodes were taken out, too, to assess whether cancer had spread and fortunately, it did not. The 67-year-old also expressed concern after tests showed he had the BRCA2 gene.
This gene mutation increases the risk of cancer, which is why Mathew urged his singer daughters to get tested as well. He also said that it could be passed on to his grandchildren.
According to Northwell Health Cancer Institute breast surgery regional director Alice Police, humans have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which act as a suppressor of tumors. However, if there’s a mutation, it indeed heightens the risk.
In another interview, the music executive hinted that Beyonce and Solange had undergone precautionary measures. However, Mathew said there are family members from his and Gina’s side whose lives were claimed by breast cancer – his aunt from the mother side as well as two cousins.
The doctor said it is extremely important to know the family history, especially with men who have breast cancer because it is really rare.
While he is out of danger’s way, Mathew said he will have another mastectomy in January just to be sure. He will also have mammograms twice a year. Meanwhile, he hopes that his story would inspire other men to have themselves checked once they notice symptoms.