SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Throughout the month of October, health care providers and organizations will be highlighting breast cancer awareness.
Roughly 245,000 women are diagnosed each year, but what about the opposite gender?
“It can happen to men,” said Dr. Holly Mason, Chief Breast Surgeon at Baystate Health. “Men account for one percent of all breast cancers.”
The three words that no patient ever wants to hear: you have cancer. These words recently became a reality for Matthew Knowles, father of musical sensations Beyonce and Solange Knowles.
Knowles is among the 2,200 men diagnosed with the disease in the US each year, those numbers from the CDC. Knowles said he realized something was wrong when a reoccurring speck of blood appeared on his shirts.
Dr. Mason told 22News there are a number of things men could experience.
“It could be a change in how the skin looks, such as a thickening of the skin. Or if it looks like a pea or nodule in the skin. It could be just a breast mass. Sometimes it could be they’re looking in the mirror and noticing one side looks different than the other,” said Mason.
Knowles underwent surgery in July and is said to be doing very well. But he wants his story to make more men aware and get tested. Don Webb of Suffield, Connecticut told 22News that he hadn’t thought of getting tested for it before.
“No, not until you had mentioned it to me,” said Webb. “Now that I know of it, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing when I go for a physical to ask the doctor when I’m there about that. Or if it’s in the family.”
Incidences of breast cancer are also higher in black men.
Read more about Matthew Knowles’s story along with resources to help fight cancer here.