The 67-year-old music executive shared news of his diagnosis so other men with the disease would feel less "embarrassed" — and to urge both men and women to get regular breast cancer screenings.
"We need men to speak out! Men want to keep it hidden, because we feel embarrassed — and there’s no reason for that. I want to continue the dialogue on awareness and early detection — male or female. The key to this is early detection," Knowles said in a statement to TODAY.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year and about 500 men will die from the disease. Men represent a very small fraction of breast cancer cases, but they are less likely to survive their cancer than women who are diagnosed at the same stage.
Black men also tend to have a worse prognosis, the organization said.
A recent study found that some men at higher risk, including men with BRCA mutations and a strong family history, should receive routine mammograms. In fact, mammograms are more effective in detecting breast cancer in high-risk men than in women who have an average risk.
The Food and Drug Administration also recently called for more men to be involved in breast cancer trials because so little is known about treating men with breast cancer.