In SummaryBusinessman and record executive Mathew Knowles sat down with BNC’s Shannon LaNier, where he discussed his journey as a breast cancer survivor.
It’s been two years since Mathew Knowles revealed his breast cancer diagnosis, and he refuses to live in fear.
The businessman and record executive said his previous experience in the medical field is what led him to the doctor after noticing a discharge of blood. It turned out to be cancer.
“You immediately say ‘Am I hearing these words? Am I in a daze, am I in a dream, is this really, really happening to me?’” he shared with BNC’s Shannon LaNier. He went on to say he questioned whether he would survive, adding, “What’s it going to look like?”
Breast cancer in men is a rare condition, according to breastcancer.org, accounting for fewer than 1% of cases. In 2021, approximately 2,650 males are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer, with an estimated 530 men dying from the condition.
The rarity of the disease in men may be part of the reason there appears to be so much shame associated with men contracting breast cancer, but Knowles said the messaging is also a factor.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the messaging of it,” he said. “When we touch this part of our body, we touch our chest, not our breast. And we have utmost respect for our women. And we don’t feel comfortable using that word.”
The father of Grammy Award-winning singers Beyoncé and Solange, Knowles said it was important for him to share his diagnosis with his family so they could all get a genetic test and catch any issues early, adding, “It’s critical.”
As a survivor, he said the No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 single released in 2001 hits a bit different now. The Destiny’s Child track, which he helped write and compose, is about surviving different situations and overcoming obstacles.
“I played that song a number of times, more so than ever before quite frankly,” Knowles told LaNier. “It does help me that I’m a survivor and that I can get through this, and I’m not going to quit. And I’m going to make it.”
Knowles is now on a mission to educate others, especially Black men, and dispel some of the myths that are out there.
In terms of what he would say to men who may be ashamed or embarrassed, Knowles said he would tell them if they have a family history of any type of cancer or disease, they should see a doctor and be tested—especially because his own diagnosis was a result of genetics.