Dr. Oz: Melissa Etheridge Cancer Survivor
Melissa Etheridge is a music superstar, a mother, a wife, and a cancer survivor. She’s made a career out of trailblazing moments. 21 years ago, Melissa Etheridge came out as a gay woman at an inaugural ball for President Bill Clinton, long before it was accepted in show business. A decade later, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she made another dramatic and historic appearance at the Grammys, bald from chemo and belting out a powerful rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”
Melissa was diagnosed with cancer early and has made a full recovery. She continues to make music, with her 17th album This is M.E. out now. She’s also a leading voice in the battle against breast cancer.
Dr. Oz: Melissa Etheridge Cancer Diagnosis
Melissa Etheridge came by Dr. Oz to talk about her cancer diagnosis. It’s been 10 years since she went into recovery. She said that the whole experience of going through cancer made her realize that health is the #1 thing. “If you don’t have it, you have nothing,” Melissa Etheridge said.
Melissa said her aunt and grandmother died of breast cancer and her father died of liver cancer. Since cancer ran in her family, she always had it on her mind. Still, she was very understandably shocked when she found a lump in her breast just a few months after getting a physical by her doctor. It was an aggressive tumor.
Her radiologist was a friend of hers. She had gone through breast cancer and assured Melissa that she was going to be fine. Her radiologist had a double mastectomy and she showed her the scars. She told her that was the worst that could happen to her and that she was going to be fine.
Dr. Oz: Melissa Etheridge Stopping the Chemo
Melissa Etheridge stopped her chemo before she finished a whole course. Dr. Oz wondered why that happened. Melissa said it was a bad experience, but she believes the treatment is her own personal choice. She decided to stop it and investigate how to remain healthy and how to be healthier than she was. 10 years later, she’s recovered and feeling fine.
Dr. Oz: Melissa Etheridge Getting Healthy
She said the biggest thing she learned was focusing on nutrition. She thanked Dr. Oz for always bringing that to his show. She also said stress can make you unhealthy and controlling the fear was a big part of it.
Dr. Oz: Melissa Etheridge On Angelina Jolie
Melissa Etheridge has controversially said she didn’t think Angelina Jollie’s decision to get a preventive double mastectomy was brave. Melissa said she speaks honestly all the time and sometimes that gets her in trouble. She said she believes everyone has their own personal choices to make about health.
But she said that she thought making a decision to cut off healthy tissue out of fear of cancer and of dying is a fearful choice to make. She said if you have the gene, you should be diligent about your health, stress, and food instead.
“I’m not here to criticize anyone’s choices. I just wouldn’t myself call that a courageous choice,” she said.
Melissa said too many women don’t understand the choice of a preventive double mastectomy. She said her doctors told her that the ones that survive breast cancer are the ones that make a change in their life personally, with stress management and dietary changes.