POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. — Three years after beating breast cancer — a disease that rarely affects men — former Kiss drummer Peter Criss wants guys to know it can happen to them, too.
The rock star best known for the ballad "Beth" is participating in a walkathon for the American Cancer Society next month near his home at the Jersey Shore. He wants fans to sponsor him or join the walk themselves.
Criss, who played the Catman with the costumed rockers, asks supporters to register through his website, www.petercriss.net.
The Oct. 17 event in Point Pleasant Beach already has raised more than $108,000 for the fight against breast cancer.
The 64-year-old says he's cancer-free and emphasizes there should be no stigma or embarrassment attached to getting the disease as a man.
"It's not an embarrassing thing — it's a very important, major thing," he said. "You find something wrong, you have to go to see a doctor immediately. It's not going to go away.
"I was this rock hero — I had dolls made of me!" Criss said. "I never thought I could catch anything. And then there it was."
Men account for 1 percent of all breast cancer cases, but about 2,000 men develop it each year, and 440 die from it, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The walk begins at 10 a.m. at Ocean and Arnold avenues, rain or shine.