Skip to comments.Melissa Etheridge: Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy Is "Fearful," Not "Brave"
Posted on 06/18/2013 4:22:21 PM PDT by drewh
Angelina Jolie's decision to get a double mastectomy after learning she had the breast cancer gene mutation has been lauded by many as courageous, empowering, and even heroic. But singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge -- a breast cancer survivor herself -- thinks it's actually the opposite of those things.
Asked about Jolie's recent New York Times op-ed, in which she revealed the news of her mastectomy and breast reconstruction, Etheridge told the Washington Blade that she wouldn't make the same decision for herself. Nor would she encourage others to do so without properly researching their options.
"I have to say I feel a little differently," the Grammy-winning chanteuse (who, incidentally, performed at Brad Pitt's wedding to Jennifer Aniston) said of the choice to get a preventive mastectomy. "I have that gene mutation too, and it's 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," she continued, noting that surgical removal of one's breasts is "way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do" to lessen your risk of the disease.
"I've been cancer free for nine years now, and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer," she added. "There was so much acidity in everything. I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion [of a mastectomy]."
To be fair, Jolie said in her May 14 editorial that the decision to have a mastectomy was a personal one. Her main point was that women should be informed about the various options available to them.
"I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices," she wrote.
"Life comes with many challenges," she explained. "The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of."
At this point, what difference does it make?
None since Christina Applegate among many others have had this procedure done well before Ms. Jolie.
Melissa thinks nobody except her is capable of "properly researching their options."
My sister made the same decision as Jolie. The doctors removed a lump but told her she had a 10% chance of it coming back. My sister looked at her two baby daughters. .. 2 and 5. ...and would have cut off her legs to make sure she was there to raise them .
>> “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.”
It’s always been amazing to me how merely having mediocre skill at music, and moderate attractiveness, and the fortune of being in the right place at the right time, confers extraordinary powers of knowledge and understanding about essentially EVERY subject to the American “celebrity”.
Under Obamacare, you’d be advised to just take the pain pill rather than seek any surgery.
But I bet she thinks it is brave when a homosexual comes out of the closet.
Go quietly fade away, Melissa.
I never thought I would agree with Melissa Etheridge, but I do.
I think what Jolie did was not only fearful, but stupid. You don’t have healthy, normal body parts removed because of a chance of cancer. If you have a very high chance of developing cancer, you simply get frequently tested. If you actually develop the disease, then you take appropriate action. What Jolie did was bizarre and unhinged - no matter how liberals in the MSM laud it as “brave”.
Okay, I’ll say it: Melissa Etheridge is retarded.
Mel is right. It’s just foolish to be afraid of getting cancer, dying horribly and leaving your family alone.
Another story the US MSM can sink their teeth in.
>> would have cut off her legs to make sure she was there to raise them
And so proceed the “ordinary” lives of the genuine heroes that inhabit the LORD’S circle of life and love.
(As opposed to many celebrities, who believe they are the only heroes and the world turns around them.)
May GOD continue to bless your sister richly. Seems he has already given her much wisdom, courage, and love.
THanks for sharing that, and FRegards
My sister is a strong Catholic social conservative. I’m not sure how you bring liberal or conservative into this. I think it’s a “Mother Bear” thing.
I think they both make valid points and I am not the person to judge. That being said, I think they are both idiotic narcisitics who felt the need to tell the world “look at me, look at me.”
>> You dont have healthy, normal body parts removed because of a chance of cancer.
And you don’t have much knowledge of state-of-the-art cancer treatment best practices.
Prophylactic surgery for cancer prevention is not only commonplace, it’s proven effective. That’s how it became a best practice.
Obviously, it”s a personal decision, but I’m inclined to agree with you. I don’t care to go under the knife for any reason unless I absolutely have to. And I’m skeptical about whether identifying a gene or genes would really be such an accurate predictor of whether or not you will get cancer.
She’s taking it harder than Brad Pitt.
Well, Brad does have George Clooney for consolation.
i know! what an ass to imply Ms. Jolie did not do extensive research... and Mr. Ethridge is full of crap to think cancer is soley caused by environment, and people have full control as to whethet or not we contract it...
Tony Snow was a high risk for cancer... he was frequently tested... and he died of cancer... we don’t always have control no matter the precautions we take...
Very good! What you say is true.
It’s a tangle ain’t it.
>> Shes taking it harder than Brad Pitt.
Sure. He had ‘em frozen, you know. Out of the icebox, they feel about the same as when they were original equipment.
NT!!! STOP THAT!!! BAD BOY!!!
I’ll admit, that *was* cold...
In this case, chemo bought her 8 months against that monster. (and she nearly died twice during that initial fight.) I know - I was there as her PCA (and everything else she needed) those first three months of that fight.
So I won't denigrate Ms. Jolie for making her choice - or Ms. Ethridge pontificating hers.
I loathe that anyone has to go through such a terrible disease.
And, Angelina Jolie should care what Melissa Ethridge says - why?
I thank God every day that my tests came back that I didn’t have the BRACI or BRACII gene as well a a more obscure gene for ovarian cancer.
But, after much thought while waiting for the results, I would have a hysterectomy&/or mastectomy if the test cam back positive. Disclaimer: I have 4 kids and have passed the point of having more.
After watching my mother battle ovarian and colon cancer, I will do what ever I have to do not to go through that.
And, please, the screening for colon cancer isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but bit the bullet and just do it!! Cancer is so much worse than a day or 2 of discomfort!! (My personal cause)
I disagree. Jolie’s mother died of breast cancer, and while she was waiting for her own genetic test results, her aunt died of breast cancer. Since she has adopted several children, she either doesn’t want to, or can’t carry children herself.
That being said, her breasts are ornamental, and with post mastectomy repair would look much the same. The difference being that she would not have two hand grenades taped to her chest.
Her odds for cancer were 50% for ovarian, and 87% for breast. Now, at least for breast cancer, her odds are down to about 3%.
“And you dont have much knowledge of state-of-the-art cancer treatment best practices.”
Actually I do. I just disagree with hacking off perfectly healthy body parts merely because there is a chance that the person might later develop cancer. If the flesh isn’t diseased, it shouldn’t be hacked off.
OTOH, Jolie could get hit by a bus tomorrow and still be dead. I find her choice to be fearful as well. I get regular cancer screenings, and if I had the BRAC 1 gene, I would probably get twice yearly screenings. In the meantime, science might discover better screening methods or a more precise way of eradicating the disease. Jolie has no way of knowing this. However, it was her decision to make and I respect that.
Since losing my wife to liver cancer at 29 (not a typo) And raising aour daughter alone, I think people SHOULD be REALLY scared of what cancer does. Personally I’d rather not give the disease 180 days to grow undetected between screenings when I KNOW I am at risk genetically.
But to each their own.
i think angelina jolie made an informed decision and it’s nobody else’s life but hers. nobody cares more about jolie’s health more than jolie.
nobody cares more about your health than you. you have to care, only you live in that body. she didn’t just make this decision on a whim and without consultations and research and taking family history into account.
i have no problem with her doing proper research and consultation and contemplating the odds, and from that, making her’own medical decision she believes is the right way to go.
if i were a woman, facing a similar issue, i am not sure i’d make the exact same one, or have the same timetable. but i am not her.
I don’t think her decision is bizarre at all.
My dad has had several cancers. We have the same endocrinologist and he’s never advocated having body parts removed “just in case”.
Gee. So much for a woman’s right to choose. THese liberals are a hoot. Angie made her decision and I am sure it wasn’t easy. She wanted to be sure to be there for her family and wanted to do anything necessary. Melissa made up her mind about what she wanted. I noticed Angie didn’t attack people her chose to use alternate therapies and even validated it as an option. Angie showed class, thoughtfulness, and respect. She also choose to go to any lengths to be there for her children. I admire and respect that. Melissa is a classless trash.
You're saying you'd rather wait until you get diagnosed with cancer, to do anything, instead of doing something to prevent getting it altogether. If you had a 90% chance of getting cancer by not having the surgery, and a less than 20% chance of getting cancer by having the surgery, which option would you choose?
Absolutely! I agree. Many blessings to you and yours and convalescences as well.
>> Actually I do [understand cancer treatment best practices].
>> I just disagree with hacking off perfectly healthy body parts merely because there is a chance that the person might later develop cancer.
So you disagree with prophylactic oophorectomy for women with a high probability of contracting ovarian cancer? On what basis?
How about prophylactic hysterectomy for women at risk of endometrial cancers?
If everyone took your advice, and chose not to have anything done until they actually developed cancer, what would be the difference in incidence and mortality from these cancers?
What would be the economic impact of taking your advice?
That's very easy to say, but appropriate action when it comes to cancer doesn't always work, does it? Jolie had a high likelihood of developing breast or ovarian cancer. I don't laud her as "brave"; IMO it was a personal decision involving self-preservation more than bravery. But I understand why she did it.
Norm, my condolences on your loss. God bless you and your daughter.
“You’re saying you’d rather wait until you get diagnosed with cancer, to do anything, instead of doing something to prevent getting it altogether.”
I’m saying, if you’re not sick, you’re not sick.
“If you had a 90% chance of getting cancer by not having the surgery, and a less than 20% chance of getting cancer by having the surgery, which option would you choose?”
I am in fact in a similar situation (and no, it’s none of your business what that is) and I will not have surgery unless there’s a need to have surgery. I don’t take medicine unless I’m sick. I don’t have surgery unless I need it. I don’t pay taxes unless I owe them. I generally don’t eat unless I’m hungry (although my waistline would disagree). I live by a simple rule: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If she didn’t have cancer why remove healthy body parts?
>> the screening for colon cancer isnt the most fun thing in the world
Are you talking about colonoscopy? Or something else?
Thanks. I just brought it up to point out that cancer kills and has consequences. Real ones. You can’t live without a liver, but you CAN live without breasts.
One of the men on the oncology ward had testicular cancer. He refused the snip that could have saved him. He died before she did.
He may well still be here today.
Risk is not about present actuality. Risk is possible future not definite future. If you are not diseased you should not undergo treatment as if you were.