This article originally appeared on VICE US
Beyoncé and Solange’s dad came forward to reveal that he has been diagnosed with breast cancer, highlighting a rare, though no less serious, health risk faced by many men in the United States.
In a Good Morning America interview that aired Wednesday, Mathew Knowles discussed his breast cancer diagnosis with co-host Michael Strahan.
“I got a mammogram, and then it was very clear that it was breast cancer,” Knowles said. “Of all the things I could get, why would I get this? From a man’s perspective, I was thinking: Why me?”
It’s not surprising that the 67-year-old, who managed his daughters in the early stages of their careers, was, well, surprised by his diagnosis. Breast cancer might be the most common form of cancer among women of all races and ethnicities, with one in 8 women expected to develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, but only about one in 883 men face the same risk.
There are still over 2,600 new cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in 2019 alone, though Knowles believes those numbers could be greater if stigma did not prevent some men from seeking treatment.
“The numbers we have for men and breast cancer are not adequate because we don't have enough men coming forward to take the exam,” he told Strahan.
Knowles added that by coming forward, he hopes to push more men to understand the rare, but very real, risk they face for breast cancer and go get tested themselves. His efforts are particularly critical for other Black men like himself, who, like Black women, tend to have a worse prognosis than people of other races.
“I'm hoping that by me coming here today and speaking out, [I’ll be] letting folks know that you can survive this, but it has to be early detection,” he said. “And I can't overemphasize the word ‘early.’”
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