The 47-year-old singer, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy in October 2004, opened up about her battle at her Los Angeles concert.
"Cancer's something that will stop you right in your tracks. It stops you and life is just like a wave... right over you," Contactmusic quoted Etheridge, as saying.
"All those things that seemed so important, all those things you stressed about all day long, they just disappear and you're left with yourself and your love of life.
"I want people to know that cancer's not the end ... (it) can be a gift. Cancer can just be a little awakening," she added.