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Cancer Survivor Melissa Etheridge On Angelina Jolie Mastectomy: 'I Wouldn't Call It A Brave Choice… I Have That Gene Too'

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May 20 2019, Updated 11:09 p.m. ET

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Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she chose to undergo a double mastectomy after confirming that she carried the BRCA-1 gene, which gave her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Brad Pitt has raved of her bravery, calling her a "bada**."

But now, cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has come forward to say that she's anything but.

"I have to say, I feel a little differently," the lesbian rocker told gay newspaper The Washington Blade. "I have that gene mutation too, and a preventative double mastectomy is not something I would believe in for myself."

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Melissa, who successfully underwent five rounds of chemo for breast cancer in 2005, said, "I wouldn't call having a preventative mastectomy a brave choice. I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer."

What's more, Melissa believes cancer is simply a matter of mind over matter. "My belief is that cancer comes from inside you, and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body," she claims.

Brad Pitt

"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, 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, "she says, "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."

Angelina, however, is more than happy with her choice, and is already back to "business as usual," Brad said on Good Morning America Monday.

Next, she plans to have her ovaries removed within the next two years, as she also faces an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.



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