Melissa Etheridge Calls Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Decision ‘The Most Fearful Choice,’ Not 'Brave'
Melissa Etheridge doesn't think that Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy was brave, she told The Washington Blade. “I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer," Etheridge, 52, said. "That choice is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and [considering] the advancements we’ve made in things like nutrition and stress levels.”
Etheridge also has the BRCA gene and underwent five rounds of chemotherapy in 2005 for breast 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.”
In May, Jolie penned an op-ed for The New York Times titled “My Medical Choice,” in which the actress explained how she came to the decision to undergo the surgery. Jolie revealed that upon learning that she carried the BRCA1 gene, which gave her an 87% chance of getting breast cancer, she elected to have a double mastectomy to lower that chance down to just 5%.
Since Jolie’s op-ed, many have lauded the mother-of-five, for her courage in undergoing the surgery and sharing it with the word to spread awareness. Etheridge’s recent comments stand in stark contrast to generally positive reaction the Salt actress has received. Despite receiving backlash for her Washington Blade interview, Etheridge isn’t backing down. "I don't have any opinion of what she 'should have' done. All are free to choose. I only objected to the term 'brave' describing it," Etheridge said in a statement to ABC News.
During the World War Z premiere on Monday, Brad Pitt was asked what he thought about Etheridge’s comments regarding his longtime partner. “Oh, I didn’t know, I haven’t seen her,” told Extra. “Melissa is an old friend of mine, so I’ll have to give her a call.”