Melissa Etheridge Stands by Angelina Jolie Double Mastectomy Criticism

She called Jolie's choice "fearful" not "brave"

By Cathy Rainone
|  Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013  |  Updated 2:58 PM CDT
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Erica Camille

Melissa Etheridge said she doesn't think undergoing a preventive double mastectomy is the option she'd recommend when fighting breast cancer.

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Cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge is not backing away from comments that Angelina Jolie’s choice to have a preventive double mastectomy was “fearful” and not “brave.”

In a statement to NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, Etheridge said, “I don’t have any opinion on what she ‘should have’ done- all are free to choose. I only objected to the term 'brave' describing it.”

The singer sparked the controversy when she told Washington Blade, that like Jolie she has BRCA-1, the faulty gene that carries a very high risk of developing cancer. But she wouldn’t recommend undergoing a preventive double mastectomy, she said.

"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 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."

Jolie has said that she wants genetics testing accessible to all women.

Asked about Etheridge’s comments, Jolie’s partner Brad Pitt said the singer is “an old friend.” He reiterated support for Jolie’s surgery, calling her decision “bold,” according to “Today.”
 

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