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‘You’re Only Hurting Yourself’: Breast Cancer Survivor Mathew Knowles Hits Back at Folks Who Are Skeptical About Going to Doctor

Nearly two years after speaking about his battle with breast cancer, Mathew Knowles is still encouraging African Americans to pay their doctors a visit.

In a Wednesday, June 16, interview with Survivor Net, Knowles gave some context to why many Black people avoid doing their checkups. He said, “This distrust goes back all the way to slavery, quite frankly. If there is a new day, I think we have to understand that people of color are in high positions in the medical profession and working vigorously to make change.” The father of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Solange Knowles added, “We can’t change what happened years ago, but we can effect change of what happens today. It’s about early detection.”

Mathew Knowles visits SiriusXM Studios on June 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

There are countless moments from slavery to present day where Black Americans have faced racial disparities in the health-care system. While Knowles expressed understanding for why there’s a lack of distrust, he also wants African Americans to realize that not checking in with their doctor can have a possible negative outcome on their health. “When we’re saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to go to the doctor because of what they did 10 years or 20 years ago,’ ” he said, “you’re only hurting yourself. You’re the one that will have the repercussions of not getting early detection.”

Knowles, who is the CEO of Music World Entertainment, said the dots of blood on his clothes and sheets is what urged him to ask his doctor for a mammogram. He was shocked when the doctor diagnosed him with the same cancer that took his mother and aunts. While advocating for genetic testing he said, “Some of these genetic mutations are passed on to our kids and to our grandkids and to our great-grandkids.” Luckily Knowles was able to catch the cancer early at Stage 1A and have a mastectomy.

In order to stay healthy, he made a few lifestyle changes. “I stopped drinking alcohol. I started exercising daily. I understand the correlation between heart, cancer, and obesity.” Knowles said he even lost 31 pounds, going from 264 to 233.

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