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Melissa Etheridge Backs Off Angelina Jolie Comments Regarding Double Mastectomy

Singer Melissa Etheridge is backing off comments she recently made after public outcry over her critical views regarding the decision of Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy.

"I don't have any opinion on what she 'should have' done," Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor herself, told Us Weekly. "All are free to choose … I only objected to the term 'brave' in describing it."

The comments came during a candid interview when Etheridge, who performed at Brad Pitt's 2000 wedding to Jennifer Aniston, suggested that Jolie's double mastectomy was "fearful" and not "brave." Jolie was widely applauded for undergoing the surgery along with breast reconstruction after learning that she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer. However, Etheridge appeared to hold a different view on the preventative measure.

"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," Etheridge, who like Jolie tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene, previously told The Washington Blade. "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."

In February, Jolie opted to have a double mastectomy after doctors estimated that the mother of- ix had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. She began the initial removal on Feb. 16 and underwent the reconstruction surgery on April 20.

"I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people's hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness," Jolie wrote in May. "But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action."

Jolie's late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died from ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of 56.

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