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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Beyoncé’s father, Mathew Knowles recently discusses his fight with breast cancer in a shocking interview with Good Morning America.

During the interview, the music executive revealed that he’s currently battling stage IA breast cancer. 

In the revelation, Knowles talked about how he has come to terms with his diagnosis as well as his thoughts on the stigmas that are attached to male breast cancer.

“I noticed because I wear white T-shirts. I had a dot of blood on my T-shirt,” Knowles said. “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.'”

“Then on the third day I was like, ‘What is this? I wonder what this is,'” explained Knowles.

Knowles talked about what exactly made him decide to take a trip to the doctor.

“A couple of days passed, and I didn’t have any type of discharge. Then on the fifth day, another, just a tiny drop of blood. 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,” he said.

“When I had the blood on my T-shirt initially I didn’t think it was breast cancer. My mind went a lot of places. My mind went to what medication I was on, because different medications might have caused some sort of discharge … and then I thought, just because of the risk factor, that it could be breast cancer and I would go get a mammogram,” Knowles shared.

“For context, in 1980 I worked in the medical division of Xerox. I worked there for eight years, selling Xeroradiography, which was at that point the leading modality for breast cancer.”

Knowles also explained how breast cancer runs in his family and how important it was for him to share the shocking news with his children.

“Also, my mother’s sister died of breast cancer, my mother’s sister’s two and only daughters died of breast cancer and my sister-in-law died in March of breast cancer with three kids – a 9-, 11- and a 15-year-old — and my mother-in-law had breast cancer. So breast cancer has been all around me. My wife’s mother has breast cancer, too,” Knowles said.

“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.”

Knowles underwent surgery during the summer and also received his BRCA results.

“It was July and I had surgery immediately, and that’s when we got back the BRCA results, a genetic test used to determine a person’s chance of developing breast cancer,” Knowles shared.

“I also met with Dr. Susan Domchek, director of the MacDonald Women’s Cancer Risk Evaluation Center and executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania, and she shared with me this whole BRCA information that I had never heard: all men and women have a BRCA gene. The results from my BRCA test were that I had a mutation on my BRCA2.”

 

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.