This legendary rock star tells us: You don’t need to be a woman to have breast cancer.
Peter Criss is one of the founding members of KISS, one of the world’s most famous rock bands and a legendary drummer. But Criss also is something that not many know, he’s a breast cancer survivor. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and and this rock star royalty is talking with the world about his experience as a man with breast cancer.
Criss was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. After a workout, he took his wife to a doctor’s appointment and mentioned to the physician that he had noticed, what he thought, was a pulled muscle. He was referred to a cancer treatment hospital where they diagnosed him. Criss was lucky to have caught the cancer early and was able to beat it with a lumpectomy. He feels that he didn’t suffer from breast cancer because of this early detection.
Most recently, he was on FOX’s In The Zone to talk about his work as artist ambassador for Hard Rock’s Pinktober Campaign. He told them that he felt that this was his “time to give back” and to raise awareness to breast cancer in men. He wants men to feel it’s “okay to get this checked out” and to no longer feel the stigma that is attached to men talking about their breast cancer.
Here are some facts on male breast cancer:
◊ Although it is rare, 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men. That means there are 2,360 new cases of breast cancer in men (2013-2014) according to the American Cancer Society.
◊ Survival rates for men are about the same as for women, with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. However, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage. This is because they are less likely to report symptoms.
◊ A lump beneath the nipple is the most common symptom of male breast cancer. Other warning signs are: a lump or hard knot in the chest or underarm area (usually painless, but can be tender), dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin of the breast, itchy or scaly sore on the nipple, pulling in of the nipple (inverted nipple), or a nipple discharge (this is rare).
◊ Early detection is your best defense against breast cancer. If you notice any signs see a health care provider right away.
Below is a video from 2009, where Peter Criss talks candidly about his experience with breast cancer.