Melissa Etheridge believes Angelina Jolie jumped the gun with her double mastectomy.
The singer, a breast cancer survivor, told The Washington Blade that she has the same BRCA gene mutation as Jolie. When asked about Jolie's choice to undergo a preventative double mastectomy, Etheridge called Jolie's decision "the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer."
"I wouldn't call it the brave choice," the singer said.
Invoking her own experience with cancer, Etheridge suggested stress reduction and proper nutrition as better preventative steps.
"My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body," she told the Blade. "It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not."
Jolie announced her elective surgery in a May 14 Op-Ed for The New York Times titled, "My Medical Choice." In the piece, she revealed that her doctors told her she would otherwise be at an 87 percent risk of getting breast cancer.
Here's the entire Blade/Etheridge exchange:
BLADE: As a breast cancer survivor yourself, what did you think of Angelina Jolie‘s announcement?
ETHERIDGE: I have to say I feel a little differently. 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 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 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.