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Peter Criss Says He's "Really Proud" to Be an Artist Ambassador for Hard Rock Pinktober Campaign

Diane Bondareff/Invision for Hard Rock International/AP ImagesFounding KISS drummer Peter Criss is best known for his years keeping the beat for the recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, but he's also making a name for himself as a spokesman for breast cancer awareness.  While the disease affects far fewer men than women, the 68-year-old rock legend was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.  Thankfully, he's been cancer-free going on seven years.

Criss now has been chosen as one of Hard Rock International's Artist Ambassadors for the 2014 edition of its Pinktober campaign held in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Peter is helping to spread the word that men also can be stricken with the disease.

At a recent New York City launch party for the initiative, the drummer told ABC News Radio that he appreciates the chance to team with the Hard Rock organization to help get the message out there.

"I'm really proud that the Hard Rock is getting involved with this with me, because for a while there, you kind of feel like you're alone," he explained.  "You know, you're out there and you're trying to get the word spread that 'guys can get it, guys can get it.'  I feel like I'm with the big guys now."

Criss said he was lucky that his cancer was caught in the early stages, and wants guys to know how important it is for them not to wait to see a doctor if they thing something is wrong.

"Go to the doctor immediately," he insisted.  "Early detection will save your life.  It's just that simple…You'd only be a fool and kidding yourself if you didn't immediately get your ass over to a doctor's and say, 'I'd like you to just check this out.'"

Peter pointed out that some men might have a macho attitude that would make them hesitate getting examined for breast cancer, but he says, regardless of any possible stigma, going to a doctor is the sensible thing to do.

"I grew up in Brooklyn.  There's nobody more tough than I can be, and I find that really the tough guys are the guys that get up and do something about it," Criss maintained.  "And to get up and save your own life is pretty obvious…You gotta be crazy to wait around [and] think it's gonna go away.

Beyond his work with the Hard Rock, Peter shows his support for breast cancer awareness by taking part in various promotional appearances, lectures and other events.  This October 19, the rocker will head to Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, to participate in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer charity walk, an event he's been involved with for several years.

He told ABC News Radio that the walk is a "piece of cake" to complete, adding, "It gets better and better every year.  I don't think it's 'cause of me.  I just think maybe, you know, I just added to the party."

The Pinktober initiative will raise money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other similar charities around the world via the sales of themed merchandise and menu items at Hard Rock's cafes, hotels and casinos.  Special Hard Rock-sponsored events also will benefit the cause.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio