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06/18/2013 08:48 am ET Updated Jun 18, 2013

Melissa Etheridge Calls Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy A 'Fearful' Choice

At least one person doesn't agree with Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year. Melissa Etheridge, who beat breast cancer in 2005, told the Washington Blade newspaper that Jolie -- whose doctors warned her of an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer -- acted out of fear rather than bravery.

The two-time Grammy winner, 52, said she suffered from the same gene mutation that Jolie claimed to have, but that she would have reacted differently. An excerpt from her interview is below:

"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. My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body. It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not. 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. I’ve been cancer free for nine years now and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything."

The comments are similar to ones that Etheridge made to Shape magazine about being cancer-free. "Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn't afraid of anything anymore. I now have a different relationship with fear. There are only two things in our reality, love and fear. I try to make choices out of love," she said.

When asked about Etheridge's comments Monday while promoting his new movie, "World War Z," Jolie's husband, Brad Pitt, said he hadn't yet formulated his thoughts. "I don't know. Somebody just said that," he told Us Weekly. "Melissa's an old friend of mine. I'm sure we'll talk over the phone. I don't know what it is."

Jolie, 38, announced her decision to undergo surgery in a candid op-ed piece for the New York Times in May. Less than two weeks later, Jolie's aunt, Debbie Martin, died of breast cancer at age 61.

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