Melissa Etheridge Talks Jolie's Double Mastectomy: "I Wouldn't Call It the Brave Choice"

By Josh Grossberg
|  Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013  |  Updated 11:05 AM EDT
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In this file photo, singer Melissa Etheridge plays Hammerstien Ballroom in New York City.

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Angelina Jolie's not the only celebrity with BRCA-1, which carries a very high risk of developing breast cancer.

In an interview with Washington Blade, Melissa Etheridge said she has the same faulty gene and even survived breast cancer as the result of it. But unlike the Hollywood star, the "Brave and Crazy" rocker doesn't think undergoing a preventive double mastectomy is the option she'd recommend.

"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," the 52-year-old Etheridge told the paper. "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."

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Etheridge then clarified that in her view cancer "comes from inside you" and has a lot to do with stressors people place on their bodies, so she cautioned about embarking on the kind of surgery that Jolie decided on.

"It's the stress that will turn that gene on or not," the singer said. "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."

Etheridge then encourages those facing similar genetic risks to really think hard before following Jolie's path.

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"I've been cancer free for nine years now and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer," she said. "There was so much acidity in everything. I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion."

As for Jolie, Pitt appeared on "Good Morning America" Monday morning and said his longtime love is back to "business as usual" and plans to focus on making sure all people have access to genetic testing so that they can be aware of their health risks and empower themselves.

Pitt has said that he thinks Jolie's decision was "heroic."

PHOTOS: Angelina's road to recovery

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