Melissa Etheridge calls Angelina’s double mastectomy ‘the most fearful choice’


Melissa Etheridge is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancer free, by her own account, for nine years. She was with her last partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, throughout her chemo and breast cancer battle and then she got better, cheated on Tammy with a mutual friend, left her and tried to get out of paying alimony or child support. That’s not conjecture, Tammy pretty much aired all their dirty laundry when she found her lifestyle massively downsized in the wake of the split.

I wouldn’t give that full unflattering intro to Melissa if she had just said that she disagreed with Angelina Jolie’s choice instead of painting her own cancer struggle like the best choice. She has every right to disagree with a preventive double mastectomy, especially as someone who dealt with cancer. What she did was shade someone else’s health decisions and act as if hers was so much nobler. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it. Here’s what she said:

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.

[From Blade via Radar]

Cancer survivors, do you find it offensive that she said “cancer comes from inside you” and that you could turn it on or off with “stress” and “acidity levels”? That’s what she said, isn’t it? While there are legit environmental factors, it wouldn’t have killed her to be a little more diplomatic about it. I get not agreeing with preventative mastectomies, but it’s offensive to imply that cancer patients brought it on themselves or can somehow control it just because that was her experience. Yes there are probably things people can do, but health issues can be random and scary and sometimes it’s just genes and horrible luck. Sometimes people do everything they’re supposed to, get the short end of the stick and die way before their time. Can you blame a woman who lost her mother and aunt to breast cancer for deciding to take matters into her own hands, to be proactive instead of reactive, to get the test, and then essentially erase her chances of having a disease that runs in her family? Angelina took control of her health, and just because she did it in a way that didn’t jibe with Melissa Etheridge’s cancer experience, that’s somehow wrong and “fearful.”

Melissa is shown in February, April and May with her partner, Linda Wallem. Angelina is shown on 6-4-13. Credit: WENN.com

 

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228 Responses to “Melissa Etheridge calls Angelina’s double mastectomy ‘the most fearful choice’”

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  1. DJ says:

    Given Angelina’s family history, I would have probably made the same decision. Each cancer diagnosis is different, as is each person that is dealing with it. To act as if your struggle was harder and that someone else made a decision based on fear instead of going through treatment like you is just narcissistic. But then again, it sounds like she’s made some shady decisions that involve only her these days.

    • A says:

      I would do something too. For sure. I couldn’t live a normal life knowing I had the gene and knowing that my kids could end up alone.

      Well done, Angie.
      F*ck you, Melissa.

    • aims says:

      my mother is in battle for her life right now. She has stage four breast cancer, and it has metastasis. I don’t share this information because it’s personal. What I have witnessed her going through has been horrific. It’s been a nightmare for her and our family. I have been tested, and thankfully I don’t have the gene. If I did, you bet your ass I would do whatever it took to save my life.

      So when you see someone you love endure sickness, doctor visits, chemo chairs, hospital visits, pain management, rapid weight loss. It changes your perspective on life. And anyone who judges another human being for wanting to avoid that hell, is an asshole.

      • Ncboudicca says:

        Aims, all the best to your mom (and you)

      • Kim1 says:

        Sending positive thoughts to your family ,my mom died from breast cancer.Fortunately she lived ten years with Stage Three but the last seven months was Hell.ITA with your comment

      • Rachel says:

        Aims I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and the struggle she’s going thru. My grandmother was diagnosed with uterine cancer, but it had already progressed so much that at her age, the doctors didn’t think she’d survive treatment.

        I have a tendency to lock away memories that are just too much for me to deal with. But my mom is haunted by the last few months of my grandmother’s life. Much as I’m sure Angelina is haunted by the last few months of her mother’s life. If I knew it was highly likely that that would be me in the future, but I could decrease or eliminate my chances of going thru that, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

        Who is Melissa Etheridge to pass judgment on someone else’s decisions?? As you said CB, no one has the right to throw shade on someone else’s medical decisions. She’s not an oncologist. She’s not even a medical professional. If it wouldn’t have been your decision, say so, then drop it. Back in her hey day I never would have imagined she was such a selfish person.

      • BooBooLaRue says:

        Sending you strength and peaces Aims.

      • aims says:

        Thank you all for your support. This is a very personal topic for me. It bothers me when someone makes a very insensitive comment about something so personal.

        There are people out in this world who are fighting to live. And for someone to be negative towards another person’s struggle is cruel. I dare Melissa to look a cancer victim in the eye and say that crap to them.

    • Sherry says:

      If I had AJ’s family history and the monetary means, I would have done exactly the same thing. I don’t think it was done out of fear, but out of her not wanting her children to go through what she did.

      I used to like listening to ME’s music, but she’s revealed herself to be douchier than John Mayer in many, many ways.

    • MCraw says:

      It is the bitchiest thing for a cancer survivor to say. As IF someone strongly prone to cancer should just sit around and wait for the cancer to come around if they are able to take preventative measures. As IF it’s something a person can control with their stress levels.

      This bitch.

      I’m sorry, but it makes me so angry. I had an aunt who died in her thirties, with kids under 10, to throat cancer. She never smoked a day in her life. She had this same cancer when she was a child and docs expected her to die before she was 15. It was a miracle she even lived to 34. So reading this, especially from someone who knows first hand how this disease and treatment for it ravages the body, is upsetting at best. Fk off Melissa.

    • Frosty says:

      I’m a cancer survivor who had a brutal five year battle before finally beating the disease. I find Melissa’s statement offensive for so many reasons.

      First of all, implying a person can get cancer as a result of something they did or didn’t do is ridiculous. Having gone through it myself & having lost family members to it I feel confident in saying that it was just the luck of the draw & not the result of our lifestyles.

      Secondly, everyone has the right to take their medical care into their own hands & do what they feel is right for them. No one has the right to judge another person on the decisions they make about their own bodies. What Angelina chose to do was her decision & hers alone & Melissa has no right to judge her on it. And after losing people who meant the world to her & seeing how they suffered I don’t see how anyone could judge her decision. Her body, her choice, plain & simple.

      • Connie says:

        Thank you for putting into words so perfectly a lot of what was going through my head. I find this whole story utterly offensive.

        Congrats to you on being free, I hope for nothing but love and happiness for a very long time for you.

    • Gelina says:

      Didn’t Angelina Jolie have healthy breast tissue removed based on the genetic probability that she might develop breast or ovarian cancer?

      If, your mother and aunt died from heart disease, and you discover that you have the heart disease gene, are you going to rush out and get a heart transplant? Based on the probability that one day you might develop heart disease?

      I doubt it?

      Angelina Jolie still have a chance of developing cancer from the scars from her double mastectomy, and from her breast implants.

      Four drugs ‘can reduce chance of breast cancer in at-risk women’
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/30/four-drugs-effective-breast-cancer

      Second Opinion: Unnecessary Mastectomies – ABC News
      http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117849&page=1#.UcD3S_m1GSp

      She had her surgery in February 2013, correct? And, she announced it in May, almost 1 month before Brad Pitt’s new movie is to be released, correct?

      A “fearful” choice that I felt that she should have kept to herself.

      • Ange says:

        Rush out and get a heart transplant…?

        What? You’re so far off the mark you’re not even comparing apples and oranges. You’re comparing apples and the Titanic or something.

        Angie made a brave decision to remove tissue that was healthy THEN to prevent it from becoming unhealthy in the future. She announced it to promote awareness and potentially save lives, I can’t see how she should have kept it to herself. The timing seems apt enough when you consider she first had to recover from the surgery.

      • IzzyB says:

        As a Molecular Geneticist, I can tell you that while the drugs stated in the Guardian article are exciting, they are not currently available for those who find out they have BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations and they did not eliminate the risk.

        As for the ABC News article, it was opinion based, biased, and held no facts or statistics that I could find.

        I’ve worked studying a protein which is made by a gene close to BRCA1 and is frequently mutated with it. Meeting patients, the amount that died before the study was completed, was saddening.

        The lymph nodes are connected directly to the breast and give access for metastasized tumours to the entire circulatory system. Would you want to wait and risk it? I wouldn’t.

  2. doofus says:

    ‘lissa, you in danger, girl…

  3. Falula says:

    My husband had lymphoma 8 years ago and I’m sure that if he could have done something preventative like Jolie did, he would have.

    Congrats, Melissa, you’re in the news for something other than your sh***y co-parenting skills. Now go away again.

  4. Kvan says:

    Oh snap!! Here go hell come!

  5. Erinn says:

    I found Melissa’s comments extremely offensive.

    First, she basically says that if you get cancer, it’s your fault for your negativity, stress, acidity or whatever.

    Second, she basically is saying it’s much braver to not prevent a cancer you’re at a high risk to get, and instead just wait for it to happen and then fight it.

    Having family members who have had cancer, (my chances are also likely higher genetically) I find this woman to be incredibly selfish, and ignorant.

    • MollyB says:

      If my oncologist–an actual, you know, MEDICAL DOCTOR–told me I had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer, I would be pretty darn “fearful” myself. Sure, “lots of people” have the gene and never get the cancer. 13% to be exact.

      • Erinn says:

        Exactly. I’d like to think I’d make the same choice as Angelina. Hell, I’d like to think I’d make the same choice even without reconstructive surgery. My great aunt had a double masectomy. She never had reconstructive surgery. When she’d go out to a fancy dinner, or get together she’d joke about having to ‘put her boobs on’ in regards to the silicone ones she would sometimes wear.

        You can’t fool around with cancer.

    • Lucinda says:

      Exactly! She’s brought victim-shaming to a whole new level. Wow.

  6. Seagulls says:

    Suddenly I hate Melissa Etheridge. For one thing, of you have one of the gene mutations, the best environment in the world (and the alkaline diet thing has been debunked pretty thoroughly) isn’t going to save you.

    For another thing, a double mastectomy for the BRCA mutations isn’t “fearful,” it’s approaching best practice at this point. That wasn’t so well known ten years ago, so maybe this is her making peace with her experience. But it reads bitter and judgmental.

  7. Another Ann says:

    I find it offensive to bash another woman’s personal health care choice. Angelina’s choice affected noone else, she made the decision that was right for her. Etheridge is welcome to talk about her choices, but to throw shade at someone else’s is not cool.

    Also, the nonsense that you can control cancer-she sounds like a moron. I’ve known plenty of people who got cancer and were healthy, active people not leading a stress filled life. And how would you explain little kids who get cancer? Are they filled with “acidity” and stress? Please.

    Sit DOWN, Melissa.

    • Nerd Alert says:

      +1

      There are so many factors in cancer, it’s impossible to know to which degree they all contribute. Genes, environment, food, chemicals, etc.

      BUT what I actually found offensive was the (not even) pseudoscience she’s spouting. It’s a result of acidity or badness in your life? In your “heart”? Sorry but no. Stress can cause heart problems and can exacerbate all illnesses, but cause cancer it does not, nor does “acidity”. To reiterate Another Ann’s point, tell it to the kids who get cancer. Better yet, tell it to their parents.

      • Anna-fo-Fanna says:

        Actually, my mother’s oncologist DID say that she worried and stressed herself into kidney cancer. I’m not saying this is always the case or that Melissa Ethridge is right to be throwing shade, but the whole stress thing can be true somtimes. It was for my mom.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that, but your mom VERY likely had other factors that led to her cancer. I do believe that stress can contribute or exacerbate but it cannot cause cancer all by itself. That was horrible wording on the part of the doctor, if true.

        Seriously, I’m not trying to hurt at all, but misinformed/misspoken doctors do nothing but damage. My profession is in clinical research and I study neurology and oncology. I am actually one of the people who helps discover the information before it gets to the doctor. They do their best, but they don’t always understand the hard science of it.

        I really hope your mother is doing well.

      • Loira says:

        Stress, depression, other illnesses, etc. Contribute to having cancer, you can take care of yourself, and try to as positive as you can, but this thing is sometimes genetically marked in our path. If we take care, it won’t show its uly face now, but maybe in ten years will.
        Of course her decision comes from fear of letting her children without a mother, of them having to live witnessing what is is to have a parent with cancer.
        AJ has a big young family. Her choice was the best for her if she wants to live with less worries (stress), and hopefully see her children become adults and parents themselves.

    • Bbb1975 says:

      I was thinking the same thing….. What about children getting cancer? How does ME explain that? All of their “acidity”?

  8. Cam S says:

    I wonder if she would have made the same decision if she had not had the money for the reconstructive surgery? My insurance would only cover one boob (lost both Mom AND Grandma to breast cancer). It didn’t cover the reconstructive surgery. At 34, single- it was a devastating decision. Call me vain, but until someone is on my shoes, you don’t understand. My Stepfather helped me with reconstruction surgery costs ( totaled over $15,000 out of pocket). Very hard to go through after losing all my hair. And it still hasn’t filled in on some parts of my head.

  9. Mia 4S says:

    You know once upon a time I was a big fan of Melissa and her phenomenal rock sound and guitar playing.

    Then she had to open her mouth and speak.

    She really comes across as an unpleasant fool and I really wish I could go back to when all I knew was the music.

  10. Post-It's says:

    Melissa can STFU. I love all these celebs who think they are smarter than science. If you have watched a parent die from cancer, like I did, then you can absolutely see why Angelina made that choice. But, of course, if your Melissa, and your constantly stressed on how you’re going to dump and payoff your current lover, then I can see why she thinks “stress” cause all of this.

    • Rumorhasit says:

      I agree with you….as for Melissa’s unimaginably foolish opinion, about Cancer prevention, (everyone should be free to chose their medical care, after all thats what Angelina advocated for – no matter how reckless, or arrogant you chose to be about it), and as one cancer survivor to another, I have only one word to justify MEs opinion…..Chemobrain. She had sooooo much of the hard stuff, it’s addled her thinking process, not only about this, but so many things.

      • Lady D says:

        Seriously Rumor? Can chemo actually screw with your thinking process, and how long do the effects last?

      • Masque says:

        @LadyD Chemo brain is very real. My mom had a year’s worth of chemo in 2008 and her brain was foggy for the entire year and she still experiences brain fog. While I’m grateful she doesn’t remember much about 2008 I know it really bothers her that her brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be.

        Having said that, the effect of chemo varies with each patient so the long term effects will vary, too. One piece of advice for anyone getting chemo…always take another person to your doctor visits to be an extra brain/set of ears.

      • taxi says:

        Yes, it does. Chemo meds can affect many other tissues, such as mucous membranes, hair follicles, nails, as well as nerve sheaths in the brain (and elsewhere). Nerve connections in the brain are often eroded & when they regrow, or reconnect, they don’t necessarily grow back exactly as they were before. Hence lots of post-chemo effects-brain “fog”, neuropathy (pain caused by improper brain connections, not actual damage to the area of pain but nonetheless hurts like a m-fer.) Lots of other issues as well – vision changes, different hair color or texture when/if it regrows.

        PBS had a fascinating documentary special on this. If my post-breast cancer (twice) brain weren’t fogged, I’d probably remember the name of the particular show.

  11. Bluesky says:

    Sounds like she’s a little jealous of all the attention Angelina is getting. It’s small minded and offensive to imply that stress and all that other nonsense causes cancer.

    • UsedToBeLulu says:

      +1. And the ‘acidity’ of life causing cancer? WTH does that mean? I suppose she is referring to the silly alkaline diet, which (as someone upthread stated) has been thoroughly debunked. Your body keeps its pH normal by modulating CO2 while you breath. It is totally unrelated to what you eat or drink.

      I think she has annoyed me every time she is in the news with her selfish attitude.

  12. Nanz says:

    My cousin had the preventative mastectomy surgery at 31 years old because of her family history. When doctors went to remove one of the breasts they found a malignant mass that was previously undetectable. For her, it was a matter of “when” not “if” she got breast cancer. She later had a hysterectomy. Now at 35, she is living a great life with her husband and three children. Had she not made that preventative choice, she could have gone into late stage cancer Because the mass would’ve gone undetected for greater amount of time. Bottom line, I think women should have the agency to make their own health choices free from judgment, and free from political and religious hindrance.

  13. Jayna says:

    You idiot. You didn’t die. Many women do. And look at her family history to see the likelihood of her getting it. Look at the young woman whose grandmother, aunt, mother, sister got breast cancer and tell her your thoughts.

  14. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    I don’t understand why people make such a big deal about it and feel the need to openly criticize Angelina for making her own personal choice, which didn’t harm or ofend anyone and which she had a right to make without asking for anyone’s opinion. It’s not like she cut her hand or tongue, she can funtion exactly like she did before the mastectomy. Even if there is a chance she wouldn’t get cancer, which is highly unlikely judging her family history, would breasts be worth the risk? She decided that she is more attached to her 6 children than her breats and didn’t want to wait in fear thinking “will I or won’t I be there to see my kids’ college graduations?” People make such a big deal about it like her choice caused some serious, earth-shattering damage. I’ve seen various experts and religious fanatics being asked on the news why her choice was wrong and I don’t get why would it matter what some strangers, mostly male may I add, think about her mastectomy.

    • Little Darling says:

      Only thing it really did was open up much needed dialog and prompt insurance companies to up the ante when covering these types of issues.

      For anyone to do anything but praise women’s health issues finally being heard is absolutely insane.

      As for Melissa Etheridge…I’m so over her and her holier than thou attitude on everything.

      Side note: isn’t she or wasn’t she friends with Brad Pitt?

      • Ms. Petit says:

        I was just wondering about that. I thought that Melissa and her ex Julie Cypher were tight with Brad and Jen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jen got Melissa’s friendship in the split and that’s why Melissa is throwing shade on Angelina

      • Robino! says:

        Yes she was…back in the day, a day I will not mention, but yes they were friends.

      • Kim1 says:

        She said she hasn’t been in contact with Brad in years. In one interview she asked Brad to call her, this was about three years ago.

      • emmie_a says:

        Here’s Brad’s comment (via Daily Mail), “Melissa is an old friend of mine… I’ll have to give her a call.”

      • pf says:

        I was gonna say that Melissa was on Andy Cohen last year maybe and said she no longer talks to Brad and sort of implied that it’s because of Angelina. So you have to wonder if Melissa’s comments are directed at her. Did she ever say the same when other celebs had the exact same surgery? No, so you have to wonder if this an Angelina burn. I find her comments more offensive, even though I don’t agree with Angie’s decision, because no one causes their own cancer. My mom had it at the age of 19/20 and what…did she get it because she was stressed? Unbelievable someone would think that about cancer!

      • pwal says:

        I seem to remember that she mentioned Brad practicing fly-fishing in her pool for A River Runs Through It. And when the paternity of her children with Julie Cypher hit the streets, Brad’s name was brandied about as a possible donor. Fortunately, he wasn’t, since Etheridge’s attitude as of late indicates that she would’ve given him the business.

        As for Etheridge, I don’t regret cheering for her when she was battling cancer. And I won’t bristle whenever I hear India.Arie’s ‘I am not my hair’ which tributed Etheridge’s re-emergence at the Grammys (?), rocking a bald head instead of opting for a wig. But I find myself puzzled with Etheridge’s contention about attracting cancer with thought and acidity. I think about Christina Applegate and her watching her mother grapple with cancer twice and she opted not to do anything preemptive; I don’t think she was stupid for doing that, especially since her mother survived both bouts. But Angelina’s family history shows that when cancer hits, it hits hard and kills.For all we know, that knowledge was known to Jolie since her teens, which could’ve informed her behavior during her so-called wild child days. Jolie has outgrown that phase, much to many’s disappointment, and even if she revealed that her family’s cancer history forced her to grow up and make some tough and uncomfortable decisions, there will still be some pouting about it, as if their vicarious living through her should be a satisfactory substitute for her actually living a longer life.

        These people remind me of the Luther Vandross fans who whined and whined about his weight losses because they liked ‘bigger’ Luther better, meanwhile the weight loss was an attempt to save his life due to a family history of heart and vascular disease that killed his family and siblings before they reached their 60s.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        @pwal

        That’s what I’ve been thinking as well…why she did so many crazy/stupid things when she was younger, why she had a big family very fast and young…if I knew that I was going to get diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer by the time I hit forty, I’d be crazy too. I’d also be depressed. That might also be why she never wanted to have biological kids…because she would never want her kids to suffer what so many in her family had to.

      • pwal says:

        I hate to say this, since there’s been a pile-on whenever Brad says or does something practically daily, but I’m beginning to think that whatever ‘shade’ Melissa was trying to throw was directed at Brad.

        After all, he was the one who called her heroic, which did invite some ire on the board when he said that a month ago. Personally, I think he had every right to believe that Angelina and other women who are grappling with this decision are heroic, especially since women are routinely expected to knuckle under when it comes to issues concerning their health and their bodies.

        There is something about Melissa’s clarification that makes me think that she was wounded about not being a part of the inner circle when Angelina was making her decisions. Maybe she’s sore that Brad hasn’t ‘done enough’ to maintain contact with her. Or maybe, she objects to the fact that Brad maintains relationships with relatives who have fundamentalist, anti-gay marriage beliefs. Or, she sees how Brad hangs out with Marianne Pearl or Stefani/Rossdale or Guy Ritchie’s kids, along with his own kids, the way he likely hung out with her and her respective ex-lovers/girlfriends’ children, only, back then, he didn’t have his own kids, and could’ve lavished more attention on her kids. Or she’s in a snit on behalf of Aniston.

        Whatever the issue, here’s a tissue. It’s remarkable to me that Melissa and various members of the Goddess Circle don’t grasp that if one has a beef, it’s more satisfying to handle your beef yourself and take it up with the person directly.

      • Bijlee says:

        @pwal Maybe it was the fact that melissa is a lying cheating jerk who didn’t watch out for her kids or her partner and angelina after experiencing that to her own mother did not like melissa. Maybe Brad distanced himself out of respect for Angie’s feelings. That’s just me speculating though.

  15. jj says:

    Dissing publicly other person medical choice is a no no.

  16. emmie_a says:

    Melissa comes off as angry, bitter and jealous. If she really believes that she got cancer because of her acidity levels, she better watch out because it sounds like she is still full of acid.

    As usual, Team Jolie.

  17. lisa2 says:

    I’m confused.. she used marijuana to help control her pain. Many cancer patients don’t do that. Does that make her a coward because she used some other source to control her pain? Is she less brave than the patients that depend on medication along.

    There is nothing to say. she should ignorant. Angelina has never said her choice should be everyone’s choice. She said that everyone should do their research and make the decision best for them. Who Melissa I guess your choice was the only choice according to you.

  18. Anon says:

    “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage without fear.” –Eddie Rickenbacker, a WWI flying ace

    I would imagine with the death of her mother and recent death of her maternal aunt that Angelina chose what is best for her and her FAMILY. Angelina never called herself brave either, she called attention to the genetic test and told about the options, what women’s choices are.
    But of course, Melissa Etheridge does what is best for HERSELF always…including knowing she could name-drop Angelina and get lots of attention for her tour? I think that is what she was promoting.

  19. Erinn says:

    There is a huge difference. What Melissa is saying is not something to help people. It is not something that is even based on facts. She’s making a statement that specifically is throwing shade on another woman’s choice.

    Melissa’s comments were snarky at best. She is well aware of how the press works at her age, and level of fame. She should have been more diplomatic, in her comments. She could have simply said that she didn’t agree with her choice. She didn’t need to go ahead and make it sound like someone is a coward unless they fight cancer instead of preventing it.

    I don’t know if you have had a loved one facing cancer or not, but these kinds of comments are hurtful, and Melissa’s behavior shows that she thinks she’s a better person for fighting cancer rather than preventing it.

    Like you said – it’s a personal choice; why should Melissa speak out negatively against the health choice of another woman.

    EDIT: comment I was replying to has been deleted.

  20. Talie says:

    She doesn’t make any sense. So, the brave choice would’ve been to get the cancer and hopefully survive it?

  21. bluhare says:

    Well my first comment may have been a bit too graphic, but I can’t stand this b*tch and her self righteous attitude.

  22. OrangeOprah says:

    I have never cared for her, but didn’t know for sure why. She just showed me why! She should just shut up. Who is she to judge why somebody makes a medical decision and she sure as he!! is in no position to say why someone gets cancer. Starting to sound a little like Rosie O!!

  23. Tulip Garden says:

    I thought that AJ’s intention was to bring awareness to this subject and to, hopefully, spur a conversation. To me, Melissa’s comments are just a consequence of that. Whether you a agree with Melissa’s or AJ’s decisions/opinions shouldn’t really matter b/c I thought the whole point was to bring about a conversation. This is part of that conversation.

  24. LouLou says:

    I’m going to be a b*tch momentarily. Girl looks like a pimp in that fur-trimmed coat. Also, this from the woman who used David Crosby’s sperm to try to get a musician kid even though that DNA came with drug and alcohol addiction genes.

  25. atorontogal says:

    We ALL make our own choices on how we choose to live and what we choose to do with our bodies. To condemn someone for their choice is hypocritical. To say we bring out the cancer that lurks within us because of our environment is so ludicrous I’m at a loss for words. Other than to say STFU Melissa. Go live your life and don’t judge other’s or you too will be judged. Way to support the sisters!

  26. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I just finished my last radiation treatment for breast cancer in April. I was really lucky, and caught it very early, and my prognosis is excellent. One thing I noticed throughout is that a certain type of person feels the need to validate their own choices by belittling yours if it differs in any way. These people usually “know” exactly why and how cancer cells develop, even though experts in the field don’t. I always thought this came from fear and a desperate need for some control in a scary situation, so I think it’s ironic that Melissa is saying that Angelina made the most fearful choice. I didn’t find this kind of person to be helpful, and I tried to ignore them and just make the best decisions I could with my doctors.

    • taxi says:

      Congratulations & good luck to you.

      You’re right about these choices being very personal & best made after learning, investigating & consulting with your own medical professionals. There are so many different variations of breast cancer alone that there is no single “best” for everyone. I had it twice, with a 20 year remission interval & still didn’t critique my daughter’s treatment decisions when she was diagnosed in her early 30′s. She, her doctors & her husband made the choices best for them as a family.

  27. Dedrie says:

    Melissa has often proven herself to be a mean, ruthless old Grinch about women’s issues and is jealous of other successful pretty ladies. She’s a survivor of cancer so everyone should bite the bullet suffer as she did? Ask Tammy about how loving and compassionate she was to her after she loyally nursed Melissa back to health..

  28. Suze says:

    Etheride doesn’t come off as particularly articulate and bright in the piece. I’ll be generous: perhaps she sounds more coherent in person.

    She made her choices just as Jolie followed her own path. The difference is that Jolie has only commented on her own experience and Etheridge is projecting her experience on to others.

  29. Suze says:

    Etheridge doesn’t come off as particularly articulate and bright in the piece. I’ll be generous: perhaps she sounds more coherent in person.

    She made her choices just as Jolie followed her own path. The difference is that Jolie has only commented on her own experience and Etheridge is projecting her experience on to others.

  30. teehee says:

    I will put myself on the line and say that I also thought the same when I first heard of AJ’s actions. However, it is for each person to decide, and, the irony that her aunt died shortly later just re-emphasizes the fact that for her the choice was an easy one and fair enough, even if fear is an ingredient. There is a difference between brave and dumb, though- as in inviting too much risk into your life when it could be avoided; Im sure it wasnt easy but look- the world hasnt ended, her life carries on, she can afford reconstructive surgery, and for her, life is now easier. I just hope she doesnt wind up with another cancer instead, like ovarian, just to add to the tragedy of it all.
    Edit: re-reading Melissa’s comments, she sounds very sympathetic, actually, despite her disagreeing. She is simply satating that there are alternatives and lots of ways you can overcome cancer, rather than to ‘cut it out of you’. She is just saying that there are many options before resorting to that, and it isnt snarky to say so, its kind of true— maybe. But thats for each person to decide, again, and in Melissa’s case, it worked for her, so she was fortunate!

    • Sam says:

      The problem is that you’re assuming that these “alternatives” to cutting cancer out actually work. And the best science-based research out there says they largely do not. Is great nutrition a must for cancer patients? Sure – but it’s also a must for everybody!

      Most of the people who promote alternative cures are scammers. They insulate themselves from liability by being very tricky about getting around the FDA rules. They also never accept responsibility for the death of patients. If a patients dies or does not recover, that patient did not follow the plan close enough. That patient didn’t reduce their stress enough. That patient just didn’t believe hard enough. That’s how they operate.

      Also, I don’t think Melissa should be talking about fear. If she lost her hair during treatment, that means she was using radiation therapy (a very conventional treatment). So Melissa believes in alternative therapies, but she didn’t believe in them enough to ONLY use them – she took chemo and hedged her bets. And chemo sucks – why is a desire to avoid that suckiness a “fearful” choice? Melissa is worse than misinformed, she’s a hypocrite.

    • Shelley says:

      Agreed. My comment was conveniently deleted but I said as much. People are choosing to believe that Melissa was throwing shade to Queen Jolie. Whatever decision one makes regarding being faced with the threat of cancer takes a lot of courage.

      • teehee says:

        Exactly– i think people arent able to see her remarks for what they really are at the “gall” of someone speaking out against this “saint angie” person. Its being labelled as “throwing shade” and “jealousy” etc, but really its just a different opinion which challenges jolies, — normal, ok– but heaven forbid someone say anythign less that “she so inspirational”. There ARE other options, that is also a valid fact.
        Edit: Im in no need of anyone approval or agreement, but I can also speak for myself in that I absolutely HATE, HATE peopel or doctors who try to give me the bs line of “have you tried this diet” or “how much do you drink” or “lets just change yoru dose AGAIN” etc. Some things are beyond logical influence or fault of the person who has the condition, cancer being one of them: that is the definition of a DIS-ease- a DIS order.
        Summary: its each persons own decision, and there are many viewpoints, ME’s is just as valid if only for her or those like her, as is AJ’s.

    • videli says:

      Let’s set the record straight: what are the alternative methods that will cure cancer?

  31. len says:

    I am a cancer survivor and extremely offended. Tell me what stress I had as a carefree child? It is a dillusional and dangerous way of viewing this disease.

  32. Jayna says:

    I reread what she said. Wow. I am even more disgusted with her.

  33. Sam says:

    I’ve always hated the arguments about cancer (or any other disease) being treatable with nutrition and other complimentary therapies because they are, by and large, scams for those who sell them.

    If you accept what Melissa is saying, she is essentially arguing that your life and death are totally within your control. They argue that people who actually die of cancer – well, those people didn’t eat right, didn’t control their stress levels enough, didn’t take enough vitamins, didn’t do something they should have done. Doing this basically absolves anybody else of any duty towards the patient. If you get worse or die, oh well, that’s your fault, clearly you did not try hard enough. That’s how people who promote this stuff insulate themselves from any criticism.

    Frankly, I don’t think the situations are comparable either. From what I understand, Melissa found out about her gene mutation AFTER her diagnosis. Angelina has never had cancer at all – she acted to prevent it. So is Melissa saying in effect that she would rather have had cancer but have her breasts?

    I apologize for the rant, but this makes me angry. The firm I used to work at lost a female attorney due to breast cancer (she is alive, but she’s unable to work). Her doctor advised her to have a masectomy. She refused because she bought into a friend’s advice that removing your breasts is “multilation” and that your own body can overcome cancer, which she claimed is no worse than a cold. And my co-worker did this, until she collapsed and nearly died. She’s still alive now, but she finally did have to consent to a masectomy. She’s also now fighting the cancer in her other parts of her body because it was allowed to spread. The fact is that masectomies have saved lives. Melissa needs to either produce her medical license or shut up.

    EDIT: Let me add this – I remember Melissa when she performed bald. If she lost her hair, that means she took radiation therapy. So she’s a believer in alternative treatments, but she didn’t believe in them enough to just use them exclusively? Sounds to me like she hedged her bets – and doesn’t that kind of sound like a “fearful” choice? If she believes in this stuff so much, why not rely on it for treatment? Why take chemo at all?

  34. judyjudy says:

    I understand the reasoning on both sides. I think it is brave of AJ to share her story but it is also okay for ME to share her perspective, as well. It is a very personal choice and it is good for woman to hear different stories and outcomes. Bless them both.

  35. Elle says:

    I didn’t read this as Melissa knocking Angelina’s decision. I thought she was giving an alternative view. The more high profile people speak out and debate this, the more awareness, which can only be good. I’m sure Melissa and Angelina are both intelligent and evolved enough to have an interesting debate on this matter.

  36. Georgina I says:

    I find Melissa’s comments distasteful. It’s one thing entirely to disagree with Angie’s choice, but Melissa is pedaling faux science as fact and demeaning the thought processes of someone in a situation she knew nothing about. Yes, Melissa beat cancer and kudos for that, but she should not criticize Angelina’s motives as fear-based (though if they were, who could blame AJ?) I read Angelina’s piece. Angie, after seeing her mother battle cancer for years and die young, decided she didn’t want her children to go through what she did. To me, she acted from love much more than fear, and I won’t criticize her for her own personal choices.

    • Fatkid says:

      THIS!!!
      My little sister is facing her third different (not counting recurrences of the same type) cancer diagnoses. Even though we don’t “fit” the current mold used for genetic testing she is pushing her doctors for it. I support her and I support her choice to proactively remove any part of her body she chooses.
      At the same time I have an aunt currently battling breast cancer and she is choosing an alternative medical approach. Both are keeping some choices secret for now and I understand, we are a very involved family. I keep reminding the rest of the family that they are both right because they are both choosing what is right for them.
      I have no idea how I would react if it were me. I have a lot of thoughts about what I might do or think, but in the face of a diagnosis or genetic results I don’t know what my choice would be. My point is that it is never OK to judge someone else’s choice regarding the care for their own body. Instead we should celebrate that people facing such bad news now have more choices available.

  37. Cidee says:

    One more reason to loathe the previously admired Melissa Etheridge. Team Angie!

  38. Kim1 says:

    So if you really want to be brave you should forgoe chemo and radiation. You should fight cancer with willpower, positive thoughts and prayer. GMAFB those pisses me off because relatives said my mom succumbed to breast cancer because she didn’t pray enough.

  39. Maxybabe says:

    I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast cancer in Feb this year. I am having the gene test in 2 weeks time, I have no doubt I will (if approved by medical professionals) choose to go for double mastectomy if I am a carrier of the BRCA1 gene. However, I choose to block out the noise when it comes to comments like these – especially from non-medical, unqualified individuals – she is speaking from her own personal viewpoint and I get that, however, women are misled enough about what may or may not have caused their BC. Some people go as far as to tell me I should have had a baby to “protect” myself. My oncologist says: rubbish! So ladies, block out the noise and focus on your health, your diagnosis and make your own decisions to suit your life. And yes I do believe AJ was very brave, go girl!

    • drdoolittling says:

      You rock too @maxybabe! Good luck and I hope whatever decision you have to make, you will find peace and acceptance.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      @Maxybabe…I commented above about my Stage 1 diagnosis in November and how some people just want to validate their own choices through you. They don’t really even listen to the type or stage of your cancer, but just launch into their own story and insist that’s the only way to go. You are wise to ignore them. That’s all about them and their own fears and needs.I’m sure you and your doctors will work out the best plan for you.

      I hope im not doing the same thing here. If you are anything like me, this will be a challenging time emotionally. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger and/or helplessness are perfectly natural and can be overwhelming at times. I also felt lonely because people who love you can sometimes pressure you to be ” positive and upbeat,” which I reacted to by faking a cheerfulness I really didn’t feel. Everybody reacts differently and handles things their own way, and there is no “correct” way to be in this situation.

      I can promise you something, though. You will NOT feel like this forever. It starts to lift, then gets better and better. I was sad because I felt that my life would never be the same, and it won’t. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be great, even better than it was before. Just take your time and don’t let other people tell you how to feel.

      I wish you the very best. Be nice to yourself. xxoo

      • MaxyBabe says:

        Wow thankyou for your kind words, I could not articulate them better, this is exactly how I feel, like when you want to scream if the next person says “keep positive” when you know its just their way of ending thr conversation so they don’t have to confront it!!! Having had the support from you and @Drdoolittling, I am so touched that you have taken time to comment. This has given me a lift today for sure!!! I hope you are receiving support from everyone in your life and the best medical attention you can get, be proud of your strength! Good luck to you xxxxxxx

    • taxi says:

      Best of luck to you, Maxibabe & G.N.A.T. I hope you both recover well and allow yourself your own feelings. You’re in a world of topsy-turvy and must be your own best advocates.

  40. Lemony says:

    Wow, that was rude. And you’d think as a cancer survivor she’d be much more supportive.
    What are they asking her to give her opinion anyway? She’s wacko.
    Love her music, but she’s always come across as a jerk IMO.

    • Chutzpah says:

      WOW
      so people who are ACTUAL cancer survivors as opposed to having a gene that’s wonky have no right to have an alternative opinion?? That seems to be the general consensus here

      I agree with M.E personally but that’s just me – what I have an issue with is people being completely vile towards someone who happens to not feel the need to back up St Jolie – I think its IS fearful to presume the worst is going to happen to you especially when you can afford to have check ups once a month.

      • Loira says:

        Sometimes the diagnosis are not perfect. Someone upthread mentioned how she was not diagnosed with cancer, but was at risk and in the preventative mastectomy, they found a malignant lump.
        My mother died of cancer, and the doctors KNEW she had it, but justcould not find the spot, and therefore apply the correct treatment to let her live longer or suffer less. For good or bad, when they finally found the place, she died during the biopsy.
        .
        It is a terrible, terrible illness. If she got the risk down good for her. I applaud it. Do not be so judgemental.

      • lisa says:

        my friend was given the option of a double mastectomy or monthly visits just last week. per the dr, the monthly visits dont catch everything right away. so if she doesnt have the mastectomy, when she is ultimately diagnosed with cancer, it may not be an early stage.

      • emmie_a says:

        WOW to you. Your argument is amazingly ignorant. AJ’s *wonky* gene was a statistical death sentence. How in any world is it FEARFUL to save your life??? And if you knew you had the mutated gene, how could monthly check-ups NOT be fearful?

  41. mercyme says:

    Stress? Like the stress of watching your mother and aunt die young and knowing you carry the same gene and your family worries for you? Angelina said she made her decision for her and her family’s peace of mind. She doesn’t have to stress about it anymore. It may have been a fearful choice, but the fear was legit, not some scare tactic.

    Melissa sounds like someone who needs to believe she can control everything. People like that are often stressed out, but if it works for her so be it. Sometimes a strong faith or belief can help, but sometimes it ends up preventing people from getting the help they need.

  42. drdoolittling says:

    You know, I never used to defense AJ, but this is ridiculous. This is the cattiest, bitter, and most non-sensical quote from any celebrity (well maybe not, but it’s up there). My father is a cancer researcher and genes do not get “turned on or off” by stress. Waiting for an invader of your body to ravage you is not facing cancer head on; it’s burying your head in the sand and hoping it won’t happen to you.

    Melissa is a nobody now who has to make asinine quotes just to be in the news. She is a loser and this was the final nail in the coffin for me.

    • Gelina says:

      You said that genes cannot not be turned on…you are incorrect.

      “In molecular genetics, a repressor is a DNA- or RNA-binding protein that inhibits the expression of one or more genes by binding to the operator. A DNA-binding repressor blocks the attachment of RNA polymerase to the promoter, thus preventing transcription of the genes into messenger RNA. An RNA-binding repressor binds to the mRNA and prevents translation of the mRNA into protein. This blocking of expression is called repression.”

      “If an inducer, a molecule that initiates the gene expression, is present, then it can interact with the repressor protein and detach it from the operator. RNA polymerase then can transcribe the message (expressing the gene). A corepressor is a molecule that can bind to repressor and make it bind to the operator tightly, which decreases transcription.”

      Example from Wikipedia:

      1: RNA Polymerase, 2: Repressor, 3: Promoter, 4: Operator, 5: Lactose, 6: lacZ, 7: lacY, 8: lacA. Top: The gene is essentially turned off. There is no lactose to inhibit the repressor, so the repressor binds to the operator, which obstructs the RNA polymerase from binding to the promoter and making lactase. Bottom: The gene is turned on. Lactose is inhibiting the repressor, allowing the RNA polymerase to bind with the promoter, and express the genes, which synthesize lactase.

      In other words genes can be activated (turned on).

  43. livingdots says:

    I’m not surprised she would say something like that. She has some pretty wacky “believes”. She talked a lot about it on Joe Rogan’s podcast:

    http://youtu.be/gy0u9dxfVQM

  44. BrendaGT says:

    She sounds extremely ignorant. I can’t believe someone who has had cancer would be so ignorant.

    I have not been a fan of Melissa since I read she basically dumped her spouse, who gave up her own career for Melissa, and refused to pay her child support.

    This is just another reason to not like her.

    NO ONE is saying this is the right choice for everyone. Angelina made it clear it was the right choice for HER. To make a comment like that was the fearful choice and not brave is offensive to every single person who has had these preemptive surgeries.

    Isn’t this woman BFF with Jennifer Aniston? Explains A LOT!

  45. Chloeeee says:

    while I do believe that changes in lifestyle and diet affect cancer and wholly believe there can be truly effective alternative treatments I can also agree you can’t shade someone’s personal choices. she should have just stopped at “I encourage people to look further into your options and environment”. and left it at that.

  46. MsLib says:

    OK — everyone made great points BUT what about the dumb A## who asked the question to begin with? Isn’t there anything else an interviewer can think about to ask Melissa? Why even bother interviewing her anyway; does she have an album, movie, book coming out?

  47. Dizzybenny says:

    I’m team Melissa!!
    What she is saying is don’t go to surgery right away just because you have the gene.
    Changing your diet, changing your lifestyle might reduce the chances for you to get it.
    Just because you have the gene doesn’t mean you will have it!
    It’s pretty much the message that I heard from doctors and scientist on t.v. when the story broke.

    • Kim1 says:

      What makes you think AJ went to surgery right away.Brad has stated they have been dealing with this issue a long time. He gave me the impression she has been researching this for months maybe years before making the decision.

      • pwal says:

        I agree.

        I got the impression that Angelina’s surgeries, or rather, the discussion of the surgeries may have started as early as after Knox and Vivienne’s births. Both Angelina and Brad stated in interviews that six was their limit. And given that there are varying parameters for single parent versus couple adopting, one can interpret the engagement/impending marriage as a sign that they may not adopt anymore, unless they opt to do it once they have several years of marriage under their belt.

        Plus, on a superficial level, maybe Angelina’s tendency to wear ‘sack dresses’ may have also been part of the process of making and/or accepting the decision.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Changing your diet or lifestyle might put you in a statistically lower category for getting cancer, but I imagine AJ and her doctors came to the conclusion that those statistics weren’t acceptable to her. You can’t reduce the chances of getting cancer to zero through these types of changes, no matter what people want to believe. Her chances would probably still be really high. It’s her choice whether or not she wants to take that chance, and I think her choice should be respected.

    • The Original Mia says:

      She had an 88% chance. Do you think she or any other woman should base their decision on the hope they’ll fall in the 12% range?

  48. Janet says:

    Who in hell is this woman to second-guess someone else’s decision? Every case is different and everyone has to do what is best for them given their own situation.

    This broad needs to take a big dose of STFU.

  49. StormsMama says:

    It’s gross that she -as a survivor- feels the right to judge another woman and any woman’s health choices.
    My mom is a 25 year survivor!!! And ran support groups for years all over CT and I can tell you that is really the single biggest thing she encouraged eoman to embrace: it’s your body it’s your health. Do what is right for you.

    M.E just comes across as a pig. Gross.

  50. Shannon says:

    Isn’t she really good friends with Brad?? Or at least she was years ago. Well this ends THAT friendship.

  51. palermo says:

    Shut the hell up Melissa, who are you to tell another woman what to do with her body or what to fear? Really dislike her after reading this

  52. Charli says:

    Given the fact that Angelina’s Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother all died from either breast or ovarian cancer it would have been stupid of her to not make the ‘fearful’ choice and do whatever was necessary to make sure she didn’t share their fate. An 87% chance of getting something that can and probably will KILL you is not something to play around with. If Melissa wants to believe she could have missed out on her cancer by being less stressed then good for her but that doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone.

  53. Ok says:

    I know that there are lots of people slamming Melissa for her interview.
    I get what she is saying about reacting out of fear ow what could occur.
    I don’t know that I would NOT do the same, because I think I would have parts removed to prevent having to endure the ravages of a cancer.

    But the interesting statement of the stress and acidity……

    I did have someone once tell me that it is critical that a person lets go of anger and resentment that they hold inside. That person said that is how cancer develops.

    It was weird to hear someone say that. And a bit scary because I (at the time and even now) have issues with repressed anger and stress.

    This is the second time I have heard of this, and I wonder what the basis is from……. Ghads…… I am babbling now. My apologies. But this was strange article to read.

    • Lucrezia says:

      With the stress-cancer link there are 3 possibilities:
      a) Possibly there’s no link at all (the research really isn’t clear).
      b) Perhaps long-term stress impacts your immune system and means your body is less likely to fight off cancer. (Just like you’re more likely to get the flu if you’ve been stressed.)
      c) The things we do when stressed, like over-eating, smoking or drinking, raise our risks of cancer. So it’s not the stress itself, it’s bad coping mechanisms.

      Very hard to tell which one of those possibilities is true, because everyone reacts differently to different stresses. It’s almost impossible to define a baseline like “you have a stress score of X”, so it’s hard to start comparing people.

  54. Jackie says:

    To lighten the mood on here – She’s just upset because Angie wouldn’t appear in any of her crappy music videos like Brad Pitt’s previous girlfriends/wife. Juliette Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston all did.

    Seriously though Melissa E, you’re one to talk about character and strength. You ditched your kids for a new love.

  55. Isa says:

    I can’t stand Melissa.
    Anyway, I think Angelina’s choice was brave. Now she doesn’t have to live in fear. And reading the comments on the articles was amazing. Everyone talking about their experiences with cancer or what they would do. She did a great thing.

  56. aenflex says:

    Melissa’s comments aside, my take on the mastectomy is this: it’s personal choice. And that’s quite important that is be a personal, un-celebrity-influenced choice.

    However, I find it tacky and unnecessary to announce it to the world, in Jolie’s case. She didn’t have cancer, and frankly I don’t see a reason to tell all the world that she removed and replaced her breasts. It seems famewhorey, less so because it’s Jolie, but still.

  57. Maggie says:

    I dont find what she said offensive at all. She was asked the question and gave her opinion. There are many things that can trigger illness. Stress and diet play a part in some cases for sure. Do your research. Going under the knife is not always the best choice.

  58. Keats says:

    ‘I’ve had cancer so I know how to so it right! She’s doing it wrong!’ Did I summarize this right?

  59. JennJ says:

    Holy narcissism Melissa!

    And another thing — I am so tired of people that are proud of avoiding stress. Stress comes with living, challenging yourself, and having relationships with people.

  60. Peace says:

    AJ did mention it’s not for everybody. It was right for her after careful consideration. I don’t know why people are suddenly thinking u have to have a mastectomy to avoid getting breast cancer. People have even forgotten the title of her op-ed too, “My medical choice”, the imperative words being “my” & “choice”. There are options, you choose for yourself, it was an option that she thought needed some attention. Due to that, we are eventually talking about different options to choose from.

    I try to see ME’s POV in a well intentioned manner but I can’t. It really is throwing shade @ AJ. To say the mastectomy was a fearful choice is basically calling AJ a coward. Not only that, she didn’t help promote alternative options.

  61. Cris says:

    I do not understand ME’s position. AJ’s mom died of ovarian cancer, which is difficult to diagnose early, and her aunt just died of breast cancer. AJ has the gene. Why wait around for cancer to make it’s probably inevitable knock on the door and hope maybe you will survive the nastieness that will ensue? That would be just stupid. I had the test because of my family history, and thank god it was negative. I would have done exactly what Angelina is doing, without a doubt. You only get one life. Hope no one takes ME seriously.

  62. Sara says:

    Their is certainly some validity to what Melissa is saying about our bodies being acidic and allowing cancer to thrive. Remember we ALL have cancer cells in our body. Its your body’s ability to kill those cells day to day that make or break you. A healthy immune system is of utmost importance when fighting cancer cells. An acidic environment in your body will make it more difficult to fight off cancer cells. Most foods in the Western diet are in fact acidic. Something as simple as drinking a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with water every day can help alkalize the body.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      The body maintains its own pH balance. Diet has no effect on it. What you eat can change the pH of your urine (which can have an effect on kidney health), but not your blood. Eating an alkaline diet may in fact be healthier in the long run due to the types of food eaten (lowers fat, regulates protein, and increases fiber from the largely vegetarian diet, which in and of it self is one step towards lowering your body’s potential for cancer) but it has largely been debunked that the acid in one’s diet actually has any bearing on cancer and can in fact over restrict protein and cause one to not have enough calcium.

  63. J.G says:

    I totally agree with Melissa. I also have a very strong family tendency towards cancer, and if I don’t get it I will be the only female to not have one type or another…. but to let yourself be mutilated out of fear and “what if” seems insane. It was the most fearful choice. Healthy living, your own habits, your food intake, your practices…these all have STRONG influence over the expression of genes and the development of cancer. THANK YOU Melissa for being brave enough to say it!

  64. paranormalgirl says:

    Yes, it was a fearful choice. Fear of leaving six children without a mother. Fear of leaving a partner alone. Choices borne out of fear are not bad or wrong choices. I would rather prevent something and not worry about it then fight something so invasive, so insidious that it could leave my family without me. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say.

  65. Ginger says:

    I’m a Buddhist and someone in my Sangha has stage 3 cancer. This person has chosen to take the holistic path of treatment and we are all supporting him through friendship and religious practice. I admire everyone’s individual decisions in regards to their own health. That makes sense to me. To throw shade at someone is offensive in my mind.

  66. lolalola3 says:

    I agree with Melissa that a double mastectomy is a fearful choice. I’m SO over St. Angie! I don’t think Melissa is “throwing shade”..its an opinion. So what? Other people have opinions. St. Angie’s is not the only one. Move on…

  67. Melanie says:

    This may be the first time I’ve referred to another woman as a douche. But that’s exactly what Melissa is in my book. What an ass!

    You wanna know what a fearful decision is? Deciding to do nothing. My mother died from breast cancer at 45, she was diagnosed at 36. I have been getting mammograms regularly since I was 30 years old. Every biopsy has been an exercise in sheer terror.

    Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, my mom was the only unlucky one. But that hasn’t stopped my doctor from pushing me for years to get the gene testing done. I’ve put it off, over and over, because the thought of losing my breasts was so scary to me. But as I’ve gotten older (42), it’s not as scary to me. My thoughts are I would rather live a long, happy life with my family, and that is more important to me than my boobs.

    I respect Melissa’s views on HER cancer and how she believes she got it. My mother felt very similar. And as a side note, my mom was the last person I would have ever expected to get cancer. She was vegetarian, taught yoga for 25 years, never smoked, didn’t drink, perfect weight. She was a total health nut. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. And AJ appears to have a VERY STRONG family history. There lies the difference. It’s a very big difference.

    I’m no Angeloonie here, but her decision was my tipping point. Her decision and public admission was extremely brave in my book. I’m going to get tested. What I do from there, well I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    And I agree with CB. Melissa didn’t have to agree or like AJ’s choice, but to call it fearful really pisses me off. This is a very personal issue for me. My mother was never as fearful as she was trying to fight this awful disease. Had it been available when my mom was alive, she might still be here.

  68. cat1 says:

    Whether people like it or not, it needed to be said. Could some parts have been said differently, of course. But people are taking Angelina’s decision and throwing a halo on her and saying ‘this is now how everyone must handle this ‘… the larger discussion is getting lost.

    What Melissa Etheridge said about genes and turning on and off is true. Angelina was scared that she would get cancer no matter what so she acted out of fear – she had data that told her that it would likely happen but we don’t know if that’s really true.

    This is the way the medical ‘establishment’ wants people to think.

    I think it’s time this issue was looked at a little more closely. Sorry people who get or are getting so upset and I’m sure she did not mean to offend anyone who has gone through or is also going through cancer now.

    And what about people who were offended by how Angelina portrayed what she did and how she has now set the world stage? Didn’t hear much from them (because that viewpoint was not allowed). I think we could allow this Melissa Etheridge comment and viewpoint into the discussion.

  69. yeahright says:

    I dont understand the backlash. She went through it herself, has her opinions on it and voiced them. She wasnt bashing Angelina and it was a fearful choice… Angelina was scared and rightfully so. Her point was that there are other options and she is right about that.

    • Jayna says:

      Wrong. It was a decision not based out of fear but based on making a proactive and informed decision based on her odds and probably looking at all angles and talking extensively with specialists.

      Fear would be knowing your extensive family history but not wanting to know anything, even if you have the gene, and hiding from it with your head in the sand and not researching it and facing it and then making whatever decision you feel is best for you.

      I call her a woman who took charge of her life regarding what is best for her and her family to live a long life.

    • Apples says:

      There is backlash because Melissa Etheridge did not go through this situation herself. She did not have gene testing diagnosis that Jolie had and therefore didn’t have to make the same decision. It was a different situation than what she is commenting on now. People can’t really know what they would do in someone else’s situation.
      Etheridge was given a confirmed cancer diagnosis and dealt with that (not the gene situation Jolie had).
      Also, Melissa did in fact react strongly to her diagnosis and went through Chemo, something not every cancer patient chooses to do.
      She is throwing shade on Jolie because she is friends with Jennifer Aniston and has issues with Jolie. NOT cool.

  70. Ab546 says:

    As a nurse, ME just fed into all the mythology and BS out there. You can’t turn a gene on or off! You also can’t eliminate stress or “acidity” in your life. That blames cancer patients for their disease process. AJ gave women insight into the choice of mastectomy if you have strong family history. Oncologists everywhere applaud that. ME just showed how dumb she is.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Absolutely. As a physician (psychiatrists go through med school and all the rotations) the whole idea of being able to “turn off” a faulty gene is ludicrous.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I studied genetics, and I have to quibble on a technical point. Genes are regularly turned on and off. It’s obvious it happens at least once: every cell has identical DNA, so if all genes were expressed everywhere, all cells would also be identical … and they’re clearly not. But also, on a day-to-day basis, enhancer/suppressor genes regulate the expression of protein-producing genes: effectively switching them on and off. So I can see where she got the phrase from, it is something that happens.

      However, you’re completely right in the sense that this has jack-all to do with AJ’s risk of breast cancer.

      Her faulty gene produces a wonky protein that doesn’t work. Switching her mutated BRCA gene on/off would do as much as turning on/off a light-switch that connects to a blown light-bulb.

      ME sort of had a point: a functional BRCA gene fights cancer, so if someone limits their risk of developing cancer in the first place, then the fact there’s a problem with their cancer-fighting system is less likely to be an issue. But her point has a giant flaw: living healthy and reducing stress moderately reduces your risk of cancer … removing the breast drastically reduces the risk.

      (Also, I hate the fact ME seemed to imply: “hey, don’t stress about the risk of breast cancer, because stressing about it will make it happen”. It’s hard enough to not-think about something when someone tells you to [quick! don't think about an elephant in a pink tutu!]. Imagine trying to not-think about something for the rest of your life, and with the additional worry that when you do think about it, you’ll make something bad happen. Ugh! Not helpful!)

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I meant that you cannot WILLINGLY turn a gene on or off. Genetics is not my strong suit in that I am not a geneticist, but I do know that I cannot say to myself “hey, I’m going to eat a banana and turn off my faulty foot in mouth gene.” It doesn’t work that way.

  71. Jasmine says:

    agreed.well said.and im a melissa fan.but you nailed it.

  72. Hipocricy says:

    Sorry to be blunt but she is a moron.

    Prevention is the prerequiste in health management, that’s the core line of any scientific research and that’s why we live longer these days because of all the preventive action we make during the first year through multiple vaccines.

    Some people remove premptively appendix, tonsils…and those actions don’t even have a lethal index as high as cancer. When one travel to tropical regions, they get some medecine in order to prevent malaria. They just don’t go there waiting to catch one of the deadliest desease and fight it if they can prevent it.

    Same with vaccines against the flu for the most vulnerable folks. Same for countless of other things.

    Removing preemptively an organ more prone to trigger the desease or part of the body participate in the same preventive process.

    This woman mindset is nasty. She basicly said, don’t take any preventive action for your health, wait till you get ill even if it’s a lethal illness and fight for it…and if you are Lucky you will survive.

    She didn’t just sh$t on Jolie, she in the process trashed any woman who want to prevent getting cancer by any means they see fit.

    She is a nasty b$tch, an absolute a$$hole !

  73. Tahoe says:

    When I read her comment I thought ‘how sad’, was it really her place to pass judgement on such a difficult decision? It seems so small to pass shade on a woman who is now known as much for her parenting and humanitarian work as Brad Pitt’s partner and one of the most beautiful women ever. Then I thought of someone else famous who battled breast cancer, Linda McCartney, a devout vegan, holistic, happily married, great mother who died of the disease. Either Ethridge is ignorant or letting her past relationship with Pitt/Aniston have some voice in her. But then, we all know how she chose to publicly treat her ex and mother of her children.

    I work in the healthcare profession and without exception, every single doctor I have had this discussion with hails Jolie’s decision because they feel it was the right one for her.

  74. The Original Mia says:

    Call me a coward then because I was scared to death of dying of cancer. Of having children later in life and finding out I have cancer.

    Melissa, can kiss my cowardly a$$, but I’ll be thanking my lucky stars I don’t have to worry about breast cancer because of the steps I took for my health.

  75. MAC says:

    I do not agree with that expression having heard it before. Cancer can come from genes and CAN BE influenced by environment.

    She will not even pay child support for the kids she had to have. What she said is rude, cold and unprofessional.

    I heard a woman once say her husband had cancer because he was mean. I slowly backed up.

  76. Londerland says:

    *blinks in disbelief*
    *incapable of logical response*

    Okay, so in January my family sat in a hospital and watched my father die of stress? He’d have recovered from a grade four brain tumour if he’d just chilled out, is that it? He seemed pretty chill to me by the end but maybe that was the morphine…

    My boss’s brother died at 45 two months ago because he was stressed?

    My friend’s girlfriend has been given five years to live but meditation would fix that?

    My mother’s sister could have prevented her own death if she’d just RELAX?

    F*ck you, Melissa Etheridge, you self-righteous, pompous, dangerous moron. Sorry but it’s hard not to feel like remission was wasted on the wrong person here.

  77. lucy2 says:

    I’m fine with Melissa having an opinion and saying she wouldn’t have done that in the same situation – but to slam it as “fearful” is a mistake, and it sounds like she thinks it was a quick decision – I doubt that it was. No one comes to that sort of decision without a lot of thought and consideration of the risks and results. To dismiss it as she seems to be doing is not fair.

    What’s really important here is information and choice, and being supportive of everyone’s rights to those 2 things. As a survivor herself, I would think she’d be happy that the discussion is even happening.

  78. Flounder says:

    I don’t think she was trying to be condescending towards angelina. I think she was saying that some people go opt for surgery and some people want to be more holistic about it. I think the word “fearful” comes out wrong, but not intentionally.

  79. anon says:

    Very disappointed in Melissa. Very.. It has slanted my opinion of her actually

  80. Nympha says:

    This sounds a lot like she is being incredibly jealous that she had to go through the nightmare and Angelina would probably not.

  81. RHONYC says:

    “but it’s offensive to imply that cancer patients brought it on themselves or can somehow control it just because that was her experience.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WELL PUT!

    that takes me back to the SATC ep when Samantha chewed out that doctor who implied she brought cancer on herself by not having children.

    Samantha: “I’M GONNA FIND A WOMAN DOCTOR, A ‘HOT’ WOMAN DOCTOR WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS IS ALL *gesturing to her privates* ABOUT!”

    “I SHOULDN’T BE PUNISHED FOR NOT HAVING CHILDREN, I SHOULD BE REWARDED. BASICALLY HE’S SAYING I’M A WHORE WHO DESERVED TO GET CANCER!”

    one of the funniest written eps of the series. :lol:

    • Melanie says:

      I loved that episode!!! The same thing happened to my mom, she was told something similar about how she brought the disease upon herself. As if fighting cancer isn’t hard enough, patients don’t need that shitty guilt thrust upon them as well. That always stuck in her head, makes me so sad and mad to this day.

  82. videli says:

    Fine, Angelina made her decision out of fear. Or not. I climb mountains and use the best protective gear out there. Out of fear. Or common sense.

  83. Lady Satan says:

    Well M.E., looks like your attempt to become relevant again just blew up in your smug, self-satisfied face.

    Cancer is a horrible, horrible disease (I lost my Dad to it when I was 12) and the choice on how to deal with it is entirely personal. IMHO AJ made a brave, well-thought-out choice. Is it the choice other women will make? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it is THEIR choice to make and theirs alone.

    As for M.E. and her airy-fairy ideas on cancer, she should just STFU about things she clearly has no comprehension of.

  84. Jag says:

    Angelina didn’t erase her chances. She supposedly still has a 5% chance of getting breast cancer, but I want to know how the doctors came to that number. She is also going to have her ovaries removed. I guess her doctors didn’t tell her about all the other types of cancer a person might develop.

    Leading researchers are finding that getting cancer is about 80% environmental: what we put into our bodies, use on our bodies, and what we live around.

    Considering that GMO foods cause cancer, as do many pesticides and products made from oil byproducts, changing ones way of living is a great way to prevent cancer.

    As for the acidic comment, it’s a known fact that every person with cancer has an acid pH. (My mother certainly did.) Many people who are curing cancer naturally are adopting alkaline diets to help themselves.

    Studies are proving also that cannabis cures cancer. I wish it were legal everywhere.

    Angelina and Melissa are free to make their own choices. Just because Melissa has done research and now knows more natural ways to stay cancer free, it’s no reason to throw shade on her.

    And just for those people who say I don’t know what I’m talking about, I too have that gene and will not be having my breasts or ovaries removed. My mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at age 42 and died 19 1/2 years later. She was given a less than 2% chance of living by her doctors when diagnosed; doctors are not gods and don’t know everything.

    • emmie_a says:

      Jag: You cannot group all cancers into the same category. Every single cancer out there is NOT caused by environment 80% of the time. Sometimes it is in your GENES and there is little you can do to change your gene makeup (research shows some genes are mutable but not all).

      And as others have pointed out, Melissa did not cure her cancer *naturally*. She used drugs and chemo. Maybe she has taken on healthier lifestyle after her cancer (although someone should tell her that being mean, bitter and jealous are probably more detrimental to her health than her pH levels) but that doesn’t mean that her cancer will automatically 100% stay away forever.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      “As for the acidic comment, it’s a known fact that every person with cancer has an acid pH.”

      Not really. The body regulates its pH balance. While you can change the pH level of some of your bodily fluids by diet, blood pH is not effected by an alkaline diet. The body naturally adjusts itself to be within a 7.35 to 7.45 pH range.

  85. BooBooLaRue says:

    In all honesty, is Melissa still relevant to anyone beyond being another human?

  86. Kimbob says:

    I have to agree w/CB….totally throwing shade…& Melissa’s phrasing of, ‘the most fearful choice,’…….ummmm…..quite ugly words.

    Melissa could have said, “I don’t agree w/how Angelina handled her condition, but it’s such a personal decision. Simply put, we handled it differently.” Then she could have gone on & talked about the stress, environment, ad nauseum. But…..she didn’t.

    I think Melissa’s onto something about the stress, environment, gene activation, & so forth, BUT, she did throw shade once again w/her implications of such. Also, many of our reactions to stress are INVOLUNTARY…so…..I don’t think, although we can try our best, I don’t think it’s that simple, ya’ know?

    What I’ve gleaned from reading this is that Melissa Etheridge isn’t a nice or magnanimous person…ugh!

  87. TG says:

    Melissa meet Tom Cruise. Tom meet Melissa.

  88. Shoe_Lover says:

    What an ignorant thing for Etheridge to say. Good on Angelina for doing her research and making the right choice for herself. Etheridge has no right to throw shade.

    I said this on one of the other Angelina Jolie articles but I’ll say it again. My friends family has the BRACA2 defective genes. They have lost their aunts and grandmothers to cancer and their Mum is dying from bone cancer right now after successfully fighting breast cancer. My friend and her middle sister decided to undergo double mastectomies and full hysterectomies. Their youngest sister, being in her late 20s when they were tested, decided to wait so she could have another child (she is a single mother to a ten year old). 6 months ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 of a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. It isn’t responding to traditional methods such as chemo and her only hope is an experimental procedure in Germany that will cost $150,000. $150,000 that the family just doesn’t have. We are all donating and fund raising etc but the clock is ticking and if she had taken preventative measures she would have decades ahead of her.

    A girl I went to school with didn’t even know she had the defective gene and she died 2 years ago at the age of 25 leaving behind 3 children and a husband.

    Women should have access to potentially lifesaving tests and the right to make health decisions for themselves without people giving them grief for it

  89. nicegirl says:

    Yes, CB, I do find it rather offensive. Thank you for seeing that.

  90. Ellen says:

    Way back in the early 90s there was a theory that nutrition and positive thinking would halt the spread of AIDS or prevent HIV from becoming AIDS. Plenty of positive thinkers on macrobiotic diets died, and many of my friends who are long term survivors will tell you they had a bad attitude, kept doing drugs, ate processed food etc. There was very little causation as to who lived or who died.

    A more compassionate view of Melissa’s comments would be that she doesn’t want to stoke fear but I suspect she is telling herself that she’s okay now because she changed her diet (acid??)or her life or whatever. And while I hope she remains cancer-free, she may be in for an ugly surprise one day.

    Problem is after her douchebag treatment of the incredibly flaky Tammy Michaels, I don’t have much compassion for giving her the benefit of the doubt where her comment is concerned.

  91. lisa says:

    on ET, they had a statement from ME saying basically she doesnt care what AJ does but she doesnt like her being called brave

    sorry but ME needs a big mug of shutthefcukup, what does she care? ME doesnt have to agree but she cant force millions of people to agree with her.

  92. Emily C. says:

    I thought Melissa Etheridge was a jerk before this. But I never knew she was so stupid. This is what this nonsense is, this idea that you can control everything, this New Age froo-froo bs: stupid. She has immersed herself fully in the just world fallacy. And now she’s using it to be judgy about another woman’s choices about her own body.

    She’s a stupid jerk. Well, plenty of male rock stars are, so there’s no reason to be surprised when a female rock star is too. Except that it should always hopefully be a surprise when anyone is either this extremely stupid or this extremely jerkish, let alone manages to combine them both in one disgusting sludge.

  93. Jayna says:

    So Melissa sung at Brad and Jen’s wedding. Hmmm . . . . Brad was very classy when being informed of Melissa’s remarks in part.

    • pwal says:

      Personally, I hope that Brad doesn’t follow through, in terms of calling her. Why the hell should he? He has no reason to persuade Melissa that Jolie’s choice was brave. Calling her will just convince her that being a raging C U Next Tuesday is the way to reconnect with a friend she supposedly misses.

      The whole thing is ridiculous. If she missed Brad so much, then find a way to contact him. Of course, you could argue that Brad isn’t interested in reconnecting with her. When he’s in LA, he usually meets up with Chris Cornell, David Fincher, or Catherine Keener. She could’ve contacted any of these people and asked them that if they see Brad, have him call her, provide a phone number and keep it moving. Easy peasy.

      Instead, she opted to stew, for several years, and vomited this passive aggression on someone who likely had little to do with why Brad hasn’t called, save occupying his time and attention with her, their children, their charity work, and their helping out on their film projects. As if this kind of thing hasn’t happened before – a good friend gets involved/married, have kids and get busy with that life and contact is lost. It would be one thing if the people involved were in their 20s, although they likely dealt with this when they left high school, but this cr@p is happening among people pushing/past 50. And in this situation, a woman… hell, a mother, is acting like a petulant child just because Pitt has been MIA?

      And sorry to be un-PC… she does realize that she’s a lesbian, not his ex or a friend with benefits, right? I understand that she may have been attached to him, but really?

  94. AY says:

    Angelina said very clearly that it’s her own choice, and obviously it’s a choice made with careful consideration, giving her family cancer history and she has young kids to raise.ME can have her own opinion on cancer, but she has NO right to throw shades on Angelina.

  95. Tres Jolie says:

    It’s totally effing brave to have your perfectly healthy breasts removed to save your children from the very real possibilty and almost certainty that they will have to endure watching you go through chemotherapy and possibly die. If that is not brave and selfless, I don’t know what is. Melissa should shut her trap.

  96. Tres Jolie says:

    This whole thing reminds me of when Tom Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for her medical choices. Wondering now if Melissa is a Scientologist?

  97. Moi says:

    Ugh! Melissa needs to take that ugly jacket, her big mouth that speaks, as she calls it, “truth” (aka unfiltered nonsense) and go away.

    I have heard her cancer spin theory before, and as a nurse, I can tell you she’s WAY off-base. You know what happens when you have too much acidity in your body? You barf it out and/or have diarrhea until your body gets things back to the pH range that it needs. It’s this wonderful thing called “homeostasis”… Your body constantly at work to keep things in order to sustain/maintain life.

    Celebs who are armchair professionals drive me nuts.

  98. CaramelKiss says:

    I’m floored, shocked and in disbelief all in the same tone. Really? My first reaction is to push away my laptop, like “No, this bish didn’t”? Wowzers. What’s even more insensitive is that she’s a cancer survivor herself. So what is this? Ignorance? Being sheltered from real sh*t? I have not ONE idea, but Melissa has just become the scum UNDER the bottome of the barrel with this commentation. What a DOUCHE!

  99. Stanhope says:

    Melissa is irrelevant. Can you remember a hit from her in the last 10 years? She looks like the wicked witch and she has to buy wives. Her comment is as ugly as she is. If she felt that way, she should have kept it to herself. To ME, somebody throw a bucket of water on here so she’ll melt…nobody gives a shyt about you.

  100. Str8Shooter says:

    What a stupid, offensive statement to suggest that cancer survivors bring it on themselves. Talk about insensitive.

    Is she an oncologist all of a sudden?

    Oh..right. She hasn’t been musically relevant since 1995, just trying to make a name for herself again.