Beyoncé and Solange’s father, Mathew Knowles, came forward last month to make public his battle with breast cancer. Now, the music executive has revealed that his family, especially his daughters, have been there for him every step of the way.
The former Destiny’s Child manager and producer first shared his diagnose last October in an exclusive interview with Michael Strahan for “Good Morning America.”
Matthew Knowles, arrives at the after party following the UK premiere of "Dreamgirls" at the Hayward Gallery on January 21, 2007 | Photo: GettyImages
Knowles revealed that he had been diagnosed earlier this year and underwent surgery to remove cancer in July.
Now, Knowles has opened up about his family reactions after learning of his diagnose in an interview last Friday with “Good Morning Britain.”
Mathew admitted that it was tough sharing the news with his family but says it was his responsibility because cancer could be genetic, considering his family's long history with the disease.
Beyonce, Matthew and Tina Knowles at the "Beyonce: Beyond the Red Carpet' auction, June 23, 2005 | Photo: GettyImages
“I had to talk to my sister, and I had to talk to my nieces, my grandson,” he said. “Everyone is affected by this.”
When asked if his daughters, Beyoncé and Solange, were scared for him after learning of his diagnose, Knowles said his kids know how “tough” their dad is.
Nevertheless, he admitted its been a relief to count with his family in such difficult times, saying:
“My daughters love their father, obviously. The love there and the care and family, it’s always good to have family in these tough times.”
Solange Knowles and Matthew Knowles at the premier of "Johnson Family Vacation" at the Cinerama Dome on March 31, 2004 | Photo: GettyImages
Knowles also revealed that after the cancer diagnose, he has changed his lifestyle to take care of himself.
“I’m also very cautious - it’s a lifestyle change,” he said. “I stopped drinking. I’m working out more, losing weight. All of those things.”
Mathew also admitted that there’s a psychological side to the battle because he can get quite paranoid. As he explained:
“It’s a mental thing, every time you have a cold or anything you immediately think it’s cancer coming back. So, it’s a psychological thing you have to work on, so I’m working on that.”
Mathew is now cancer-free and will remove his other chest in January because he wants to reduce the risk of getting cancer back.
"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%," he told GMA:
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, while as for men, “the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 833.”
Although rare, the diagnosis is often given to men later in life, with the median patient age being 67, just like Knowles.
This is why Mathew has decided to advocate for early detection, encouraging men to look out for signs and get tested if there’s cancer history in their families.
The father of four—he also has daughter Koi and son Nixon—first realized there was something wrong after noticing a bloody discharge on his t-shirt and bedsheets.
It also helped that he knew the subject thanks to his work selling radiography for breast cancer detection for eight years for Xerox in the ‘80s.
“So who would have thought that would have actually saved my life?” he added.
Knowles hopes that, by sharing his story publicly, he can help also erase the stigma around breast cancer in men.
“There’s no excuse for it,” he said of people getting tested. “We’ll go get a new pair of shoes. Well, why not an important test you can go and get that could save your life? Equally important, your children's lives.”
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