Peter Criss Recalls Breast Cancer, Advocates Being Aware of Your Body
Peter Criss, the 65-year-old ex-drummer of KISS, has been cancer-free for four years, but that hasn’t stopped the skinsman from fighting the good fight by educating people about the fact that men can also develop breast cancer.
October is BCA (breast cancer awareness) month and Criss detailed his battle and recovery with our friends at Ultimate Classic Rock. Criss admitted that he goes for his annual check up next week, saying, “I’m real excited about it because I feel great, except for the old pains that come from drumming for 50 years. I go to the gym every day, I walk three and a half miles, I work out five days a week, I play down in the studio.”
Even with all that activity, the Catman is cautiously optimistic. “They say it’s five years and you’re out of the water,” Criss mused. “But personally, my experience is you’re never out of the water. Every day I wake up and I get a pain, I think of the big ‘C’ immediately. Because once it’s in your body, it’s evil, and I never thought I’d have that in my body. I even went into therapy over it all, because I just couldn’t believe it. You just have that fear; it never goes away. But I’m not worried. Every day above ground, my dad used to say, is a good day.”
Criss urges anyone, male or female, who notices any bumps or pain in the breast area –namely the nipple- to get things checked out and fast, as that’s how he discovered his own condition. He also says that he just knew something wasn’t right. He told UCR that “I don’t know why, of all things, cause men just don’t think of breast cancer, we just don’t, but I swear, buddy I just knew that breast cancer had hit me for some reason. I think that was my angel speaking, and the red light went on, like, this is something more, ‘Peter, you’ve got to check this out now.”
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The early detection was crucial for Criss, who got a negative result at first and then learned it was something far, far worse.
He said, “Then I got a call on a Saturday morning, you know that ‘are you standing or sitting’ type phone call? You just know, the bottom of your stomach falls out. He goes, ‘I got good news and really bad news. What do you want first?’ Well, the bad, of course. ‘You’ve got breast cancer, Peter. You have to come back in now, and I want to remove your nipple and your breast muscle and take your lymph nodes out and make sure we get this son of a bitch immediately, because I can because you came in so soon.’ It’s a miracle, and that’s how it can be treated.”
Big ups to Peter Criss for sharing his story to help educate others.