Melissa Etheridge Slams Angelina Jolie Mastectomy as Cowardly, "Fearful"

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Melissa Etheridge has taken an unusual stance again Angelina Jolie.

With most of the world applauding this actress for undergoing a double mastectomy in order to ensure that a gene mutation would not lead to breast cancer, the singer has come out and labeled Jolie a coward.

  • Melissa Etheridge Smiles
  • Angelina Jolie at Film Premiere

"I have that gene mutation too and it's not something I would believe in for myself," Etheridge tells The Washington Blade. "I wouldn't call it the brave choice. I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.

How does the artist arrive at that conclusion?

By linking cancer to factors within one's control over any kind of genetic disposition.

"My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body. It's the stress that will turn that gene on or not," she says.

Jolie has said little on the topic since an editorial in The New York Times.

She stood by Brad Pitt's side at a handful of World War Z premieres this month and most often told reporters she was simply there to support her man and was glad to have started a dialogue regarding breast cancer awareness.

"I would say... [a mastectomy] is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and to really consider the advancements we've made in things like nutrition and stress levels," concludes Etheridge.

"I've been cancer free for nine years now and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything. I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion."

Where do you stand? Angelina Jolie getting a mastectomy is...


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I feel ,as a cancer survivor myself it was very cowardly , "hero" and "strong" used to describe her is ridiculous. Getting a double mastectomy Just because you carry the gene is fixing something before its broken. I hate the saying but i holds true for this situation. How ridiculous would it be to start chemo before your diagnosed? , its all the same idea you don`t put a band aid before you get a cut. I could go on and on. But from someone who has been there, its completely absurd.


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As a medical student in the 1970's, I sought advice on behalf of my mother for her devastating family history of breast cancer. She declined the advice of a wise surgeon to have a double mastectomy, and died of breast cancer less than 5 years later at age 52. If, in the 1970's, someone with a high public profile like Angelina Jolie had helped to make the surgery an acceptable treatment, she would not have died. Melissa Etheridge's treatment for cancer does not make her an expert adviser to other women, and her illogical, factually incorrect comments are less than helpful to those who carry a breast cancer gene, and are faced with a decision that has the potential to save their life. The less we hear of her ill-considered opinions on any subject other than music, the better. I agree the word 'hero' is overused and devalued, but Angelina Jolie deserves our gratitude for being willing to help others by exposing a painful, personal decision to the world. I only hope that Melissa Etheridge's self-indulgent comments serve to highlight the value of what Angelina Jolie has done.

@ David

Yes, thank you! My thoughts exactly. :-)

@ David

Yes, thank you! My thoughts exactly. :-)