Founding Kiss drummer Peter Criss has been admirably up front about his struggle with breast cancer, working steadily over the last several years to help educate men about the risks and warning signs associated with the disease, and his efforts have not gone unnoticed; in fact, Criss is the recipient of this year's Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Cancer Society.

Criss will accept the honor on March 9 at the ACS's annual Hope Lounge gala, to be held at the Encore club in Freehold, N.J. According to a press release, "more than 200 attendees, including corporate sponsors, prominent medical and business professionals as well as social and political leaders, underwriters and guests are expected to attend this exciting event."

UCR spoke with Criss in October 2011 about his battle with cancer, and he stressed the importance of early detection. "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," he recalled. "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. 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."

Fortunately, Criss was able to obtain treatment before it spread -- and that's a big part of his message now. "The minute you feel something, I don’t care if it’s under your arm or your leg or your testicles or behind your ear. You must tell someone or go to your doctor immediately," he stressed. "Just sitting around, you won’t be here next year."