Peter Criss, one of the founding members of the rock and roll megaband KISS is raising money for breast cancer three years after beating the disease. Breast cancer is very rare in men – only one percent of all breast cancer cases occur in males. An estimated 1,970 new cases will occur in men for the year 2010 according to the National Cancer Institute. Of those about 390 will die. New cases of breast cancer in women for the same period is estimated to be 207,090 with 39,840 deaths. (Source: National Cancer Institute)
Mr. Criss is now 64 years old and cancer-free. He says there is nothing embarrassing about a diagnosis of breast cancer for men, and that men should seek medical help immediately if they notice anything wrong. He remarked, “I never thought I could catch anything. And then there it was.” (Source: The Associated Press)
Some of the risk factors for male breast cancer are:
- Being exposed to radiation.
- Having a disease related to high levels of estrogen in the body, such as cirrhosis (liver disease) or Klinefelter syndrome (a genetic disorder).
- Having several female relatives who have had breast cancer, especially relatives who have an alteration of the BRCA2 gene.
(Source: National Cancer Institute)
NCI says men with breast cancer usually have lumps that can be felt, and that most cases occur in individuals 60-70 years old.
In October, Criss will participate in a New Jersey beach walkathon to raise money for battling breast cancer. The event has already generated over $100,000.
On his official website, he wrote, “On October 17th I will be walking for the American Cancer Society, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. I would love for you to join me in this walk to help Save lives and bring awareness to Men and Women about this disease.”
Another celebrity, Richard Roundtree was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51. He also has worked to raise awareness about the disease. Early detection and treatment increases the chance of surviving.
Image Credit: Steven Hoffmaster