Peter Criss is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Rocker and survivor, original drummer for KISS invites fans to support his efforts

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (9/17/2010) - He's a founding member of one of the world's most famous rock bands. He's a legendary drummer who's wrote one of the biggest hits of the 1970's. But KISS co-founder, Peter Criss is also a breast cancer survivor and today he's on a mission to raise awareness and fight back against the disease.

On October 17, 2010, Criss will join thousands of other families who've been effected by breast cancer and walk in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. The event is a cornerstone of the American Cancer Society's efforts to defeat one of the leading causes of cancer death in the United States. While breast cancer is relatively uncommon in men, there are still about 2,000 new cases of it in males each year.

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Peter Criss at the August Kick Off Breakfast for Making Strides - photo courtesy of 3 Chicks That Click Photography

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“I was this rock hero – I had dolls made of me!” Criss told the Associated Press. “I never thought I could catch anything. And then there it was.”

His battle began in 2007. Following a workout, Criss noticed a painful lump in his left breast. A diagnosis of breast cancer soon followed. In early 2008 he underwent surgery having a lumpectomy performed followed by a mastectomy. Because the cancer was caught early, the former "Catman" was able to avoid additional chemotherapy. He is now cancer free.

Last October, Criss went public with his breast cancer experience to raise awareness and combat the notion that only women can get breast cancer.

"It can happen to you, and when it does, if you don't deal with it right away, with your 'dude' and your metal and your tattoos, you'll go in the box and we'll see you," Criss told reporters last year.

Criss is now recruiting support for his Making Strides efforts from his army of fans. He's the co-captain of the Bosom Buddies/Twin Peaks team for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Point Pleasant Beach. The team has already raised more than $7,000, with Criss himself becoming an event Pacesetter and raising nearly $5,000 on his own.

"I would love for you to join me in this walk," added Criss, "to help save lives and bring awareness to men and women about this disease. I am going to join Nurse Betty's Team BosomBuddies/TwinPeaks. She is an awesome woman who dedicates her life to helping Men and Women with this disease."

“Pink ribbons aren’t what come to mind first when you think of Peter Criss,” said Frank Mascia, American Cancer Society executive vice president for New Jersey. “But he’s doing a great thing to eliminate the stigma around breast cancer in men and his enthusiasm has been contagious. Our communities are really keyed up for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Pt. Pleasant Beach this October and we appreciate Peter’s support in amplifying the importance of early detection.”

The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Point Pleasant Beach is one of 200 walks happening across the country this October. To find a walk near you please visit cancer.org/stridesonline or call 800.227.2345.

Breast cancer affects more Americans than any other type of cancer, striking once every three minutes. Men make up 1 percent of all breast cancer cases. About 2,000 men are diagnosed each year and 400 die from it.

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About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.