Remember how in health class in seventh grade, every guy in the room snickered when they talked about how men were just as susceptible to breast cancer as women, and how then they’d show some video with some dude you didn’t know talking about checking yourself for breast cancer? Well, male breast cancer has a new face: KISS drummer Peter Criss, who four years ago fought off breast cancer, and is now devoting part of his life to cancer charities. Here’s what he told Ultimate Classic Rock about his cancer:
Just so we can help people out, how exactly did you first notice any signs of trouble?
It was a nodule, like a lump in my nipple and I discovered it when I got back from the gym. Look out for bumps and pain, a kind of pain where you just know — this is a kind of pain I’ve never had before. I’ve had cysts and I remember them and I remember the doctor taking them out. This was different, it hurt like hell, it got bigger as I screwed around with it.
So you realized right away this was something very different?
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. By the grace of God, my wife was going that day for her own cancer problems, and told her doctor about me. She checked me out, and said ‘if my husband had that I would send him over to (doctor) Alex Swistel immediately, like now.
Then what happened?
So she calls and says, ‘I got a V.I.P. here’ — sometimes it’s nice to be famous, it does open the door, and trust me, I’m a down to earth guy, I don’t look at things like that, but boy it was a blessing. I got right in to the waiting room, and I started to get ill because I saw these beautiful women with no hair, wearing these turbans, and you could tell, the look of death was all over this room. There were other men, but they were all there with their wives. I just felt like, ‘what the hell am I doing here?,’ but thank God. He said, yes there’s something there and we should do a biopsy.
Read more over here. Makes you feel bad for joking about this as a teenager, doesn’t it?