Kiss’ Peter Criss Discusses How He Found Out He Had Breast Cancer

I'd check her for lumps

Yes, that’s right you ignorant douche — dudes can get breast cancer too, as Peter Criss of Kiss exemplified a few years ago. And this being breast cancer awareness month (I think…?), why not catch up with Criss to see how he’s doing?

I am assuming that was the thinking of Matthew Wilkening of Ultimate Classic Rock, who caught up with Pete recently.

Criss says he’s been cancer free for “four years, and my checkup comes up next week. I’m real excited about it because I feel great, except for the old pains that come from drumming for fifty 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. My wife had cancer, too. It’s an amazing story, if not for her cancer I wouldn’t be living. She’s feeling good too. So I just feel great and I’m looking forward to going in. They say it’s five years and you’re out of the water. 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, its 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.”

How did Peter find out he had breast cancer? This is something us guys should know, OK.

“It was a nodule, like a lump in my nipple and I discovered it when I got back from the gym,” says Criss. “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.”

Peter admitted he knew right away that it was cancer.

“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,” he said. “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.’”

Read the rest of that interview here. And do yourself a favor — tickle your tits tonight when you’re in bed. Feel around. Check for a pea-like abnormality. Also, check your balls for the same shit. It will be both helpful and fun.

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About Chris Harris

Chris Harris is an internationally-published music journalist and writer whose work has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, IFC, Revolver, Alternative Press, and Radar. The former news editor for Noisecreep, Harris also served as co-host for the site’s weekly podcast, “Creep Show." Before that, he spent four years writing for MTV News.

  • Luke Chaston

    A bit too harsh poking fun at cancer in that photo tagline Chris…

    • Anonymous

      Nonsense. Not making fun of cancer…just saying I would check her for lumps. I would.

      • Luke Chaston

        Meh okay, I just get the feeling someone reading that tagline is going to interpret it in the wrong way…