Melissa Etheridge Disagrees With Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy Decision

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June 17, 2013 | 8:40pm EST

Breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has cautioned women against blindly following Angelina Jolie’s lead by undergoing a double mastectomy to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
The Salt actress stunned fans in May when she revealed she had elected to have the surgery in February after learning she was a carrier of the ‘faulty’ BRCA1 gene, which increased her likelihood of developing breast cancer by 80 per cent.
Jolie is now making it her mission to ensure genetic testing for the mutation is readily available to women all over the world, but singer Etheridge, who underwent chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004, is convinced the procedure is not always necessary.
She tells the Washington Blade, “I have to say I feel a little differently (than Jolie). I have that gene mutation too and it’s (a double mastectomy) not something I would believe in for myself. 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. 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.
“Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything but it never comes to cancer so I would say to anybody faced with that (decision), that choice 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. 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.”