November 21, 2009
Posted: 03:17 PM ET
NOTE: Tonight on LKL we will be discussing the new federal advisory board recommendations concerning mammograms for women (to read more about their recommendations, CLICK HERE).
Peter Criss, original drummer and founding member of the rock band, KISS, shares his story of overcoming breast cancer. While many people think breast cancer doesn’t affect men, they are wrong: In 2009, there will be an estimated 1,910 cases of breast cancer diagnosed among men in this country, according to the National Cancer Institute. Of those cases, 440 deaths are expected. For women, the numbers are much higher: an estimated 192,370 women in the U.S will be diagnosed, with 40,170 deaths. Doctors stress early detection can save your life. This blog originally appeared on Oct. 27th.
Peter Criss answered our “5 Questions” about his diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
1. LKL Blog: First of all, how are you doing? We've read that you are cancer free?
Peter Criss: I am doing great thank you for asking. Yes I am thank God cancer free!!
2. LKL Blog: There's a lot of awareness and information out there about breast cancer – but most of it has to do with women. Frankly, a lot of people don't realize men get it too. How did you discover that you had breast cancer? Tell us about finding the lump....
Peter Criss: First, let me say I agree there is very little awareness and information for men on breast cancer. I would like to see that change for men, more information in and out of doctor's offices. So men feel more comfortable talking about it and getting it checked.
Now how I found the lump? I am very aware of my body. I got home one day from the gym, after a shower I felt a little lump in my left nipple. It hurt the more I messed with it. I just knew something was wrong, my brain went ( red light ! ). I showed it to my wife Gigi. She was going to her gynecologist and she said she will have the doctor take a look at it.
I went with her to her appointment to see the doctor. The doctor felt it and took a sonogram of my breast. She did not like the look of the sonogram and called Dr. Swistel and asked if he would check me right away. He agreed and I went right over to his office at Weill Cornell NY Presbyterian Hospital. He ordered some test (biopsy, mammogram and ultrasound). I went to a doctor by where I live in New Jersey to do the test – they said it was just a nodule or cyst, you're cool get it out if you want to, if it hurts. Dr Swistel did the operation. I felt fine afterwards. I got a call over the weekend – he said that I had breast cancer but don't freak out you will not need chemo or medication because we got it (early). But I need to go back in and operate. The operation went great. I had my check up October 5th and I am cancer free!!! I said to my wife and doctor I am going to tell the world, perfect time as it is breast cancer awareness month .
3. LKL Blog: How difficult was the diagnosis and treatment for you personally? And also generally speaking -as a man- what are the challenges?
Peter Criss: The diagnosis was very difficult for me, a man dose not think he can get this. The treatment was easy, only because we got it (early)!!! As a man the challenges are to tell other men to get checked...there are no physical challenges.
4. LKL Blog: What advice do you have for other people out there – men or women – when it comes to early detection and treatment?
Peter Criss: Man or woman: the minute you feel something wrong, just GO TO THE DOCTOR, I beg you. It is a matter of life and death – early detection saved my life.
5. LKL Blog: How have things changed for you (personally or professionally) since this happened?
Peter Criss: I have always believed in miracles and God. This lets me know miracles are true. I am a grateful person, but I always have been. My faith is my strength and my family and friends and the fans. There is enough bad news in the world; have faith in God and the world is yours.
Editor’s note: For more information on breast cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov.
From around the web
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.